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The Wainuiomata River in the North Island flows from the Rimutaka Mountains to the south coast of the North Island. 'Wai' in Māori means water, 'Nui' means big, and 'Mata' could be the name of a person.
In 1884 a dam was built with water piped out of Wainuiomata through a tunnel to Seaview then onto Wellington. The dam was replaced in 1910, then in 1926, a second less known tunnel called the Orongorongo tunnel also piped water out of Wainuiomata.
Today this area still provides water to Wellington city and for this reason it is restricted to the public. Just outside the catchment area are a number of natural swimming areas and public walks that follow the Wainuiomata River and also penetrate into the forested Rimutaka hills.