Building the Central Interceptor: February 2021 newsletter

Click here for the latest issue where you'll read about how local tamariki named our Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), the progress our team made in 2020 and the exciting work that lies ahead. You'll even meet some of the team piecing the TBM together so she can start her 14.7km journey in a few months.

Click here if you would like to sign up to receive our Central Interceptor newsletter.
Central Interceptor team prepare sandwiches at Eat My Lunch

From building tunnels to building sandwiches

Building tunnels is our teams' bread and butter but building tasty, nutritious sandwiches is a whole new ball game.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘reimagine wellbeing together’ and that’s exactly what our Central Interceptor team and contractor Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture have been doing this week. Yesterday (Wednesday 23 September), 20 of the team rolled up their sleeves, pulled on some aprons and sported hair nets for a few hours. It was all part of giving back to the local community by helping make and pack 1,400 lunches for kids in need.

Thank you to Eat My Lunch for giving our teams the opportunity to give back, and thanks to our contractor for pushing them outside their tunnel building comfort zone.

It's finished!

After ten months in a German factory and with parts being brought in from all over Europe, our Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is complete. Officially named Hiwa-i-te-Rangi after one of the Matariki stars, the 190-metre-long machine has passed its final factory test with flying colours and will soon be dismantled and shipped to us.

Hiwa-i-te-Rangi will begin digging the Central Interceptor wastewater tunnel from Grey Lynn to Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant in early 2021.

Check out our chat with the team in Germany.
central interceptor newsletter three

Building the Central Interceptor
Project newsletter (Issue 3)

Click here for the latest issue of our Central Interceptor newsletter, where you'll find out about how the project is progressing, the treasures we're unearthing and how we're honouring pioneers of the past.

Click here if you would like to sign up to receive our Central Interceptor newsletter.

Our Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) has received a Matariki star name

We've officially named our giant new Central Interceptor Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), Hiwa-i-te-Rangi. It's one of the Matariki stars ​to which Māori send their dreams or aspirations for the new year. Students from schools along the Central Interceptor tunnel route were asked to vote for the star they felt best represented the goals of the project and whose characteristics resonated with them personally. Hiwa-i-te-Rangi was the winning choice by over 100 votes.

The Matariki cluster of nine stars is known in some parts of Aotearoa as Puanga, and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi is the final star. Traditionally, Māori would send Hiwa-i-te-Rangi their wish as it also represents vigorous growth - as some people may make New Year’s resolutions or wish upon a star. Our Tunnel Boring Machine, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, will arrive in New Zealand from Germany in December.

Check out the time-lapse footage of it being pieced together in Germany.

Everyone, meet Kate

Kate – our full-size training Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) - has officially joined our Central Interceptor team and is a key part of our custom built training facility that will provide hands-on experience for those involved with New Zealand’s largest wastewater project. Why is our TBM named Kate you ask? Well, it’s named after Kate Edger, the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree (in 1877). When it came to women’s education, Kate was a trailblazer. Both our team and contractor Ghella Abergeldie JV wanted to recognise her achievements - and what better way than to name a unique educational machine in her honour.

Our replica TBM, Kate, will provide essential tunnelling training before the real TBM arrives from Germany at the end of the year.

On the other side of the world, far, far away, some very important assembling is well underway

A bit like a jigsaw puzzle, piece by piece our Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is being put together in Germany by Herrenknecht, one of world’s premier TBM manufacturers. Once fully assembled it will be 165m in length - a bit more than one and half rugby fields - and be loaded onto a boat bound for Auckland. From there, it's certainly no holiday for our TBM, it will be put to good use on New Zealand’s largest wastewater tunnel, digging up to 110 metres underground from the Manukau Harbour to Grey Lynn. Check out this time-lapse footage from Germany of the TBM puzzle taking shape.

Not just your ordinary shells

Try saying this sentence at speed three times in a row: “Shayne sells seashells by the seashore.” Blimey, that’s a mouthful! To be fair, Shayne isn’t selling seashells, but he is digging up delightful discoveries. Shells dating back 3-4 million years have been unearthed by our Central Interceptor team during their work at our Māngere site. It's definitely a once in a lifetime discovery. Check out the One News story and find out what executive programme director Shayne Cunis thinks of these special super-sized shells:

Underground construction phase underway

Yesterday, guests including Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and councillors engaged in a ceremonial dig to celebrate the Central Interceptor officially entering its underground construction phase. The dig, also known as a sod turning, took place at our Māngere pump station site. The shaft at Māngere is being constructed by our impressive hydrofraise machine that will go 50-metres underground to create the deepest diaphragm wall in New Zealand history.

Following his involvement in the ceremonial dig, Mayor Goff said, "The Central Interceptor is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Auckland. Together with Watercare and Auckland Council’s other projects in Auckland’s western isthmus, it will substantially improve water quality and reduce wastewater overflows by at least 80 per cent, while providing for population growth in the city.”

Press play on our video to find out more about the magnificent hydrofraise machine.

copper skinks found and rescued on Roy Clements Treeway

Building the Central Interceptor
Project newsletter (Issue 2)

Click here for the latest issue of our Central Interceptor newsletter, where you'll find out more about the project and our commitment to working sustainably. You'll also meet some of the team behind New Zealand's longest wastewater tunnel.

Click here if you would like to sign up to receive our Central Interceptor newsletter.

Engaging the community at Keith Hay Park

This is the first in our series of video newsletters about the Central Interceptor project. Each month we’ll be showcasing an aspect of the work being carried out in building New Zealand’s largest wastewater tunnel. Our first video is all about community engagement. On Saturday, our team and contractor Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture chatted with locals about the work soon to get underway at Keith Hay Park.

Mates helping mates

We’re extremely proud of our Central Interceptor contractor, Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture, who have become the foundation partner for MATES In Construction. This partnership will allow MATES In Construction to appoint a field officer dedicated to looking after the wellbeing of each person working on the exciting Central Interceptor project. MATES In Construction is all about mates helping mates. By opening communication channels, changing on-site culture and educating people on what can be done to prevent suicide in the construction industry, one step at a time they are helping create a brighter future.

Well done, Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture. We’re proud of your foundation partnership and we stand with you in putting the wellbeing of our people first.


Preserving Oakley Creek’s eel habitat

Before we started work on the bridge over the stream, we collected 114 eels (tuna) living in this section of Oakley Creek. To keep them safe, we temporarily released them downstream. With the bridge installed, we reinstated the original water flows; the eels can swim back upstream to return to their local hiding spots and feeding grounds.