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

 


Christchurch rivers still a ‘no go’ for whitebaiters

MEDIA RELEASE

August 14, 2013

Christchurch rivers still a ‘no go’ for whitebaiters 

Christchurch whitebaiters are being warned against fishing in or around the Avon/ Otakaro River, Heathcote/ Opawaho River or Avon-Heathcote/ Otakaro-Opawaho Estuary/Ihutai this season.

With the whitebait season beginning tomorrow (August 15), Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says eating whitebait caught in Christchurch’s waterways is dangerous. 

“Before the earthquake, Christchurch’s waterways were contaminated with duck and dog faeces and as a result rarely met recreational water standards,” Dr Humphrey says.

“Despite this, some people liked to collect whitebait from the Avon and Heathcote but because of ongoing repairs to wastewater infrastructure, there is still the additional risk of human faecal contamination.” 

Dr Humphrey says raw sewage discharges do occur into the rivers on occasions when contractors carry out essential repairs to sewers.

“Therefore E.coli (faecal bacteria) levels increase during this time.”

A 2013 report by ESR on the Avon River water, sediment and estuarine sediment also highlights on-going water quality issues, he says.

“Water quality has improved since the active discharge period but generally does not meet the recreational water guidelines,” Dr Humphrey says.

“The silt in the river still contains E. coli and at one site the concentration found was 15 times more contaminated than during the active discharges. 

“Giardia, Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium levels in the sediment have decreased since the previous study but are still present in varying levels. Giardia can cause explosive bloody diarrhoea for months.”

Giardia eggs can live for months or years in silt and can be released into the water when the silt is stirred up. It can also survive freezing, so when a block of whitebait is thawed out at home, many parts of the kitchen can be contaminated, even if the whitebait is cooked.

“People who choose to take whitebait from the Avon or Heathcote not only put themselves and others at risk but also spoil the season for other whitebaiters and consumers, as it makes us question whether any whitebait is safe to eat. I hope those people who like to whitebait can find a stand on a clean river,” Dr Humphrey says.

“All river users are also reminded that they should always avoid contact recreation for 48 hours after heavy rainfall, as this can result in sewerage and stormwater overflows into the rivers, which further reduce the quality of the waterways.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news