In stark contrast to New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ image a survey of local authority records by Consumer NZ has revealed that 29% of the most popular beaches and swimming spots are so polluted that the Ministry for the Environment advises people to stay out of the water.
Additionally, a lack of proper information from some councils means that the problem could be even worse than the survey suggests.
“Consumer NZ chief Sue Chetwin said a lack of helpful information from councils means swimmers at many other beaches may be at risk of campylobacter and ear, eye and skin infections.”
Consumer NZ looked at the results from 500 councils and only 17% of bathing places had a water quality ranked as “very good”. Some were so bad that “no swimming” signs should be erected:
“Ocean Beach stream in Northland and Kawakawa Bay, south of Auckland, were among those ranked very poor – the level where the ministry says councils should have up permanent “no swimming” signs.
Beaches ranked poor included spots at Paihia, Mangawhai, Gisborne’s Waikanae Beach (above) and Rere Rock Slide (below), which is featured on AA’s “101 Must-Do” list.”
No Auckland City beaches appeared in the survey because the city council could not provide information. This comes at a time when the council is preparing to cut $86 million from stormwater improvements.
The cuts will result in sewage overflows at popular Eastern Bays beaches – St Heliers, Kohimarama and Mission Bay (below) occurring for years longer than planned.
Source: NZ Herald