Te Puna Wai Ora (Spring of Life)
It’s fresh, clean, refreshing and free – and it’s in Jackson Street.
The big granite water feature on the Buick Street corner entices hundreds of visitors and residents every week with its unique drinking water.
Te Puna Wai Ora (Spring of Life) was opened in 2003 and has since served as a functional facility (to provide drinking water) and as a piece of outdoor art. The urn-like sculpture of the free-flowing fountain and drinking water outlets was created by artist Louise Purvis. They symbolise an oasis – a place of rest and refreshment.
Te Puna Wai Ora provides pure artesian water that originates from the Hutt River. The water enters the artesian aquifer (layers of sand, gravel and boulders locked in by clay and silt) several kilometers up the Hutt River at Taita Gorge. It is naturally filtered through the alluvial gravels and sands of the Hutt Valley over several years before reaching Petone and flowing out to the sea.
Now some of that water is drawn into Te Puna Wai Ora. The water is free from micro-organisms and organic substances. It is safe to drink in its natural form because it has been naturally filtered in its long journey through the aquifer. It is highly valued throughout the region and some consumers travel long distances to collect the water for drinking.
Te Puna Wai Ora was commissioned as a Millennium project by Hutt City Council, with assistance from the Lottery Grants Board. It is the result of a desire by Petone residents to celebrate the uniqueness of their water by building a public art work.