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Garden manager Margo Winchester, of Dunedin, yesterday confirmed a burst pipe had been discovered under the garden's pond two weeks ago.
The pipe was emptying into the garden's pond, raising the water level and spilling more water into an overflow, she said.
"The pond is a little bit higher than usual, but some of that is due to all the rain as well."
It was not yet known how much water was being lost, but a plumber today would today don waders and brave the pond's goldfish while getting to grips with the extent of the problem, she said.
The exact cause of the leak was not yet known, although general wear and tear was suspected, she said.
The pipe was installed as part of the construction of the garden and provided water to taps and a small waterfall, she said.
It was hoped repairs could be carried out tomorrow, although that would depend on the plumber's investigations, she said.
It was not yet known how much the repairs would cost.
The garden cost $6.5 million, opened in 2008 and was an example of a late Ming, early Ching dynasty scholar's garden.
It was built from authentic Chinese materials by craftsmen from Shanghai, China.