The Auckland Council is warning people not to swim at certain beaches this summer because they are too polluted.
One-third of New Zealand’s beaches are contaminated with sewerage and run-off, and even though local councils are aware of the problem, some are not acting on it.
Daniel Teura took advantage of today’s good day to go paddle boarding. But with one of three New Zealand beaches now too polluted to swim at, he’s concerned.
“Stand-up paddle boarding is a pretty growing sport at the moment,” he says.
“If it’s contaminated someone ought to do something about it.”
The Auckland Council has released a report telling Aucklanders which beaches are safe and which are not, also identifying four places in the region that are highly polluted.
Weymouth Beach in south Auckland is one of the most polluted beaches in the country. Swimming or even fishing there could make you very sick.
But like some other local authorities in New Zealand, the Auckland Council has very little desire to clean it up. It says there are already plenty of good swimming beaches in Auckland for people to enjoy.
The Ministry for the Environment says Christchurch’s beaches are much cleaner. One resident thinks people there are better at keeping their elected members on their toes.
“We read the reports. They get tested regularly and we like to know how good our harbours and swimming beaches are, and I think a fair amount of pressure goes back on to the council and certainly the regional council,” says resident Jamie Tulloch.
But like Mr Teura, Auckland Council staff are on holiday. If anything is going to be done it will have to wait until the New Year.