Look out, taniwha on the Auckland rail track
Plans for an Auckland city rail link tunnel could be spiked by a taniwha - a spiritual creature that Maori say is in the way of the project. The Auckland Council's Maori Statutory Board has warned transport planners of the taniwha, who lived in an ancient creek running past the Town Hall and down Queen St. Board member Glen Wilcox has asked Auckland's transport committee to give consideration to the taniwha - which the Ngati Whatua iwi call Horotiu - as it plans the $2.6 billion tunnel project. "What's being done about the taniwha Horotiu who lives just outside here, and that tunnel will be going through his rohe [area]?" asked Mr Wilcox. In 2002, the presence of a one-eyed taniwha called Karu Tahi stopped work on the Waikato Expressway, and part of the new road was rerouted. Another sacred guardian's presence resulted in an on-site protest during construction of the Ngawha Prison, near Kaikohe.
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