Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai, Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga

In 2018 WRL will again be assisting the Cook Islands Government with an extensive work program and series of environmental investigations, this time focussed on Muri Lagoon.

Under the umbrella of the Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai project (https://www.vaikitevai.com) we will be working alongside a range of other teams including the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR), GHD and Southern Cross University, to undertake a series of investigations and develop guidance for long-term improvements to water quality and lagoon health. ‘Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai’, or ‘Water to Water’ in Cook Islands Māori, is focused on improving the health of the coastal lagoons of the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki, through a ridge-to-reef based management process.  

Muri Lagoon, a tourism hot-spot on the east coast of Rarotonga, has in recent years suffered from a range of water quality issues related to excess nutrients, catchment and land-use management, as well as potential changes to lagoon flushing. The Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai project is providing a science-based approach to develop a better understanding of the water quality issues and provide direction for improved catchment and wastewater management in the area.

Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga. Photo credit: Anna Blacka, WRL

WRL have been engaged to lead a comprehensive coastal and oceanographic data collection program and to undertake a range of coastal processes modelling; with Principal Coastal Engineer Matt Blacka and UAV Pilot Chris Drummond travelling to Rarotonga in the coming weeks. Once in full swing the investigation will see Muri Lagoon become one of the most instrumented coastal areas in the Pacific region, with WRL’s data collection to include:Download the Me Te Vai Ki Te Vai information brochure: Choosing how to dispose of our waste safely and sustainably

  • Full topographic and bathymetric surveys of the lagoon and coastal areas using RTK-GPS, UAV and echosounding instruments
  • Continuous monitoring of currents using a range of drag based Marotte current meters as well as an AWAC
  • Short term current profiling and mapping using our M9 Riversurveyor and custom developed GPS drifters
  • Water level gauging
  • Wave gauging inside and outside the lagoon; and
  • Water quality monitoring 

Keep an eye out for further updates on WRL’s work at Muri, or register your interest in the overall project at the Me Te Vai Ki Te Vai website to receive news updates.


For further information contact:

Matt Blacka | Principal Engineer - Coastal | m.blacka@wrl.unsw.edu.au

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