'National embarrassment': How Wellingtonians reacted to the city's sewage pipe water woes

A map of the areas told to only flush when it's "essential".
A map of the areas told to only flush when it's "essential". Photo credit: Wellington Water/Twitter

Wellington's water woes have become the punchline for a slew of jokes on Twitter as the council struggles to fix its most recent burst sewage pipe.

On Tuesday, Wellington Water warned anyone living or working in the city's CBD to flush their toilets only if it was "essential", as a burst pipe was at risk of spewing sewage into the harbour.

The announcement quickly drew the attention of social media users, some of whom compared Aotearoa's capital city to "a third world country".

Others worked in Wellington's other issue - skyrocketing rents for barely habitable flats.


Satire Twitter account Postitively Wellington had a field day with the news, changing its Twitter handle to Poostitively Wellington for the occasion.

Even Labour MP Kiri Allen chimed in, saying she went for a swim in the harbour before realising how dangerously close the overspill was.

"Teaches me for trying to exercise!" she Tweeted. 

The most recent burst pipe is nothing new for Wellington.

In December 2020, a mayoral taskforce into the city's water woes revealed 60 percent of its pipelines will need to be replaced within 30 years.

Thirty percent of the capital's drinking water assets and 20 percent of its wastewater networks have already passed their use-by dates.