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Environmental investigations to shed light on Muri Lagoon issues

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

The Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai project team (PMU) are preparing to release the results of their extensive environmental investigations next week, and is keen to inform the wider community about the key findings. The results have helped identify what’s causing Muri Lagoon’s environmental problems and what can be done to help restore the lagoon.

The community is invited to attend an information session on Friday 9th November, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the USP Centre, Makea Tinirau Rd, Avarua.

The Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai environmental investigations were a collaborative effort between the Project Management Unit (PMU), the Cook Islands Government ministries and specialist sub-contracted consultants. These partners include the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR), Southern Cross University (SCU), University of New South Wales (UNSW) and GNS Science.

Completed over 2017 -2018, the investigations covered a wide range of areas including geology, hydrogeology (groundwater) and water quality, lagoon ecology, the lagoon’s physical characteristics and oceanography.

The investigations were designed to close the gaps in existing information, and identify why Muri Lagoon has degraded and what we can do to help, in the short and long term. The results will also be used to support development of improvements to the Muri sanitation system, and a longer-term monitoring programme to assess wastewater impact on the environment.

PMU lead environmental scientist Murray Wallis says: “The environmental investigations have been extensive, and a massive team-effort from a number of organisations and technical specialists. The good news is that our hard work has paid off – the results have provided us with good quality data to help identify and develop the best solution to Muri Lagoon’s environmental problems.”

“We would like to extend our deep thanks to Muri Aronga Mana, landowners, commercial property owners and the Muri community, for their support of our investigations work.”

Over the course of next week, the PMU will present the results of four technical reports covering the Muri environmental investigations and three oceanographic assessments to a range of community leaders including Muri Aronga Mana and the House of Ariki as a priority. The report will then be presented to the public and published on our website.

The results will be published in a summary report. The full technical reports will also be available later this month.


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