Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Westmere weekend fish tragedy

Westmere weekend fish tragedy

8 March 2004

ARC pollution control officers pulled out more than 40 banded kokopu (native trout) and 10 eels from a Westmere stream this morning, after concrete slurry burned their gills causing them to suffocate to death.

Pollution control officer Allan Wright was called to Notley Street on the Motions Creek side of Westmere midday on Sunday after local resident Paul Adshead reported what looked like paint in the small stream.

Mr Wright followed the discharge to its source and found highly concentrated concrete slurry from the construction of a retaining wall on a nearby property on Saturday. A channel had been bulldozed from the retaining wall to the stream to drain water from the site.

“Concrete is extremely toxic to fish because it has a high pH,” said Mr Wright. “My message to everyone who buys a bag of cement is: make sure no waste water gets into any stormwater drain or waterway. It can mean instant death to local fish.”

Even though Motions Creek is pretty degraded, it still has eels and kokopu living in it.

“I’d like to thank Mr Adshead for calling the pollution hotline. While we have a tragedy with the eels and kokopu that have died, it was thanks to Paul’s help that we’ve managed to stop more pollution occurring,” said Mr Wright.

The builders of the retaining wall were “extremely remorseful” when they found out what impact their actions had caused, said Mr Wright. They assisted the ARC to clean up and will have to cover the costs.

The ARC has contacted many cement retailers and concrete companies to request that they provide information to all of their customers about how to dispose of concrete slurry safely.

30% of all fish kills in the Auckland region are caused by concrete-related activities. Last August, the hotline found a similar concrete discharge from a retaining wall in Titirangi, and in February 2003, 1000 eels were killed by what is believed to have been concrete slurry in a Pakuranga stream.

“Please call the water pollution hotline if you see anything suspicious in your streams or in roadside drains – phone 377 3107,” said Mr Wright.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election