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Swimming hole to be filled

Media Release
20 January 2005

Swimming hole to be filled

Waitakere City Council will soon start work on filling in the Huruhuru Creek swimming hole in Massey.

Three children have drowned in the swimming hole in recent years and the Council resolved after the last tragedy that the hole either had to be made safe, or filled in.

After a child drowned in the hole in the early 1990’s the Council built fences, removed an underwater rock shelf, cleaned the pool of rubbish and erected warning signs in an endeavour to reduce the risks. These measures did prevent two subsequent drownings.

“The very last thing we wanted to do was fill in that hole. However, it is a black spot and both morally and legally we have to do something effective to prevent any more deaths,” says Councillor Linda Cooper, one of the Council’s child advocates.

“The hole is deep and can be dangerous especially after heavy rain. The real danger however, is the number of children – often very young children - who swim there unsupervised or supervised inadequately.”

“We simply can’t stop the children getting into the pool and we can’t make people supervise the children. Therefore, we cannot say with any confidence that more children won’t drown,” she says.

“That’s why we must – however regretfully – take action. Legally, we have a duty to protect people from known dangers. As human beings, also, we would rather suffer the outcry we know is going to happen, than have another child lost in that pool and know we could have prevented it,” she says.

The Council will fill the pool in and create a series of rapids.

“The aim is to make the rapids look as natural as possible and while we won’t be encouraging children to play in them, we know that they will and we think that they might have a lot of safe fun doing so,” says Councillor Cooper.

Work is scheduled to start on 1 February although this will be dependent on weather and the availability of enough concrete.

It will take about 1600 truckloads of concrete to fill the pool and the work will take about two months.


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