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Whitireia Park closed to public as fire is brought under control and investigated

Whitireia Park is closed to the public until at least Wednesday 17 January as Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) continues to bring a fire under control and investigations begin.

The fire began late Thursday night around 11:04pm and members of the public are strongly advised to stay away from the park for their own health and safety and to allow FENZ to carry out their duties.

Jack Mace, Delivery Director for Greater Wellington’s Environment Group, says getting the 10 hectare fire under control is the main priority.

“Greater Wellington Park Rangers are working closely with FENZ, the Department of Conservation and Ngāti Toa to keep the site contained, the park closed and the public informed. Once the fire is under control investigations can begin.

“People should stay away from the park and while FENZ have indicated that no homes are at risk at this stage anyone living near should take precautions to protect themselves from the smoke,” says Jack Mace.

Helmut Modlik, Tumu Whakarae for Ngāti Toa, says Whitireia is a significant area of cultural and spiritual importance to Ngāti Toa.

“Not only is Whitireia Park the landing place of the explorer and navigator Kupe, but the whenua holds special importance to Ngāti Toa at the centre of landmark legislation regarding Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements and continues to be a focal point of Porirua City,” say Helmut Modlik.

A rāhui is in place for Whitireia Park for 3 days until Sunday 14 January 2024.

Anyone exposed to the smoke and feeling unwell should contact Healthline 0800 611 116 or ring their GP for advice and support.

 

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