News

Tunnel boring machine officially launched!

30 July 2021

She’s off. Today (30 July), Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, our giant tunnel boring machine (TBM), officially set off on her 14.7-kilometre-long journey under Auckland to construct the Central Interceptor – a $1.2B wastewater tunnel that will clean up central Auckland’s waterways. Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff gave the order to start up the TBM at a launch ceremony at a construction site next to Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant. “This is a great day for all of us who care about Auckland’s water quality,” he says.

Watch our video and see the work that's gone in to get to this point.
Image of a piece of the Central Interceptor tunnel boring machine being lowered into the main shaft

The time to say 'see you later' is almost upon us

July 2021

On Friday 30 July, our 190-metre Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Hiwa-i-te-Rangi will be launched at our Māngere site and head north digging a supersized wastewater tunnel that will help prevent wet weather overflows and clean up central Auckland beaches. The engines will be turned on for an official ‘see you later’ ceremony, while the public will be given the chance to wave goodbye on Sunday (1 August). Along her 14.7km journey to Grey Lynn, 15 of our crew will be working underground at any one time. Take a listen to our Central Interceptor Executive Programme Director Shayne Cunis speaking with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ about this exciting engineering project.

In the spirit of Matariki, check out our soon-to-be tunneling star

July 2021

In the spirit of Matariki, why not take a minute to check out our soon-to-be tunneling star, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, which is named after one of the Matariki stars. This month, she’ll set off on her journey to build the longest bored wastewater tunnel in New Zealand. That tunnel will help clean up central Auckland waterways and beaches by reducing weather overflows. If you’re wondering how our Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) came to be named after a Matariki star, well, students from schools along the tunnel route were asked to vote for the star they felt best represented the goals of the project. 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 represents vigorous growth.
Blood supermoon over the Central Interceptor Mangere site

When the sun came up, the hi-vis was donned!

May 2021

A beautiful photo of the blood supermoon from our Māngere site.

When the sun came up, Seven Sharp reporter Michael Holland donned some hi-vis and met some of the characters behind the project to clean up Auckland's central waterways and beaches. Now, if you're wondering why Michael is wearing a pink hat it's 'cos he's a visitor to site – the bright pink makes him easily identifiable. Interesting fact: When someone wears a pink hat on our Central Interceptor sites we donate $10 to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. Click the link and meet the characters behind the project.
Micro tunnel boring machine

Domenica is ready to dig!

April 2021

When it comes to Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), she is small compared to our main machine Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, but Domenica certainly has a mighty job ahead of her. Our Micro Tunnel Boring Machine is currently undergoing final testing before being launched underground at May Road in Mt Roskill. Fifty+ metres underground is where her work begins. Domenica will dig two link sewers that will connect to our main wastewater tunnel – The Central Interceptor. Click here to find out what lies ahead for Domenica.

This is an office with a bit of a difference

We can’t think of too many offices where you’ll find a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) where the photocopier would usually be stationed. Recently we opened the doors of our May Road site to the local community and families of our hard-working team and contractor Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture. Press play on our video to see their reactions as they stepped inside.

It won't be long now till our TBM, Domenica, launches from the May Road site. Keep across our social media pages and this website for all the details.

Micro Tunnel Boring Machine (MTBM) gets ready to launch

April 2021

When it comes to Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), she is small compared to our main machine Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, but our Micro Tunnel Boring Machine (MTBM) Domenica certainly has a mighty job ahead of her. She is currently undergoing final testing before being launched underground at May Road in Mt Roskill. Fifty+ metres underground is where her work begins. Domenica will dig two link sewers that will connect to our main wastewater tunnel – The Central Interceptor.

Good things do come in small or small-ish packages

March 2021

Our Central Interceptor project is powering ahead with our large Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) getting ready to head underground at Māngere. But our mico-machine, Domenica, is preparing to do some important digging at our May Road site. She’s in charge of the link sewers. Press play to find out about this micro-machine's big job.

This story starts well below sea level

March 2021

Concrete is being poured in the main shaft where our Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Hiwa-i-te-Rangi will be launched in 2021. It’s a big project so it’s important to have a solid launch, and that’s what our team is busy creating. The end result will be cleaner waterways for central Auckland. To keep pace with the project, check out the video of the work being carried out below sea level.
Central Interceptor newsletter

Building the Central Interceptor: February 2021 newsletter

February 2021

Click here for the latest newsletter where you'll read about how local tamariki are behind the name of 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.
giant historical cockle alongside a pen

A historic find

February 2021
 
You never know what you’ll find when you start digging 30-35 metres underground, particularly when the area you’re excavating used to be seabed. Our Central Interceptor team and contractor Ghella Abergeldie JV have been excavating along the route where tunnelling for New Zealand’s longest wastewater tunnel will kick off in April/May 2021. The team dug up some true gems including a 3-4 million year old cockle – Maoricardium spatiosum. If that’s not impressive enough, a prehistoric whale vertebrae believed to be from a Baleen Whale was also unearthed. So far 82 fossil species have been found and identified.
 
Central Interceptor team prepare sandwiches at Eat My Lunch

From building tunnels to building sandwiches

September 2020

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

The theme for 2020'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!

September 2020

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.

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

Building the Central Interceptor
Project newsletter (Issue 3)

September 2020

Click here for the latest issue of our Central Interceptor newsletter, where you'll find out 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) receives a Matariki star name

July 2020

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

July 2020

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

July 2020

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 a bit more than one and half rugby fields in length, 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

May 2020

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: https://tinyurl.com/ybrrgmcd

Underground construction phase underway

February 2020

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.




Engaging the community at Keith Hay Park

December 2019

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.
copper skinks found and rescued on Roy Clements Treeway

Building the Central Interceptor
Project newsletter (Issue 2)

November 2019

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.

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.