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


Warning about toxic algae in Tukituki

Warning about toxic algae in Tukituki

Water quality monitoring by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff indicates that potentially toxic algae levels are present on the Tukituki River, at Black Bridge near Haumoana.

Parts of the Tukituki River are prone to algal growth in summer, due to lower water flows, higher water temperatures and nutrients in the water. Green strand algae is harmless but black Phormidium bacteria growth on the rocks is potentially toxic for humans and dogs. It can detach from the rocks and dry as mats on the sides of the rivers, and these can also be toxic.

“Our advice is to always treat the black growth on rocks in the water and the drying mats as toxic, stay out of the water if you see it, and swim or walk your dog elsewhere,” says HBRC’s Senior Environmental Scientist Anna Madarasz-Smith.

She adds that science has not yet identified when Phormidium turns toxic or why, so to be safe it should always be treated as harmful.
• Contact with Phormidium bacteria can make people sick, with flu-like symptoms.
• Dogs are more vulnerable. They are particularly attracted to the odour of the mats and being smaller, the toxins can be more dangerous. Dogs should be under control in river beds and not allowed to scavenge. Clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy, and heat stroke- like symptoms such as muscle tremors, breathing difficulties, paralysis and convulsions.
People can check water quality and algae warnings here which displays data from LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa = www.lawa.org.nz).

Warning signs would be put up at affected areas by HB District Health Board staff, but people were urged to avoid contact with the cyanobacteria mats and to keep animals away.

For information:

What are Cyanobacteria?
Cyanobacteria are single celled creatures that live in water environments. Cyanobacteria have characteristics in common with both bacteria and algae. In warm nutrient rich conditions free-floating cyanobacteria cells can multiply quickly to form what are known as algal blooms. Large numbers of Cyanobacteria can also grow as mats on river and lake beds and these mats can sometimes detach and float to the surface. Some cyanobacteria species produce toxins (cyanotoxins), which pose a risk to humans and animals when consumed in drinking water or by direct contact during recreational activities.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Using PPPs To Meet Auckland’s Roading Needs

More than once, the coalition government has ruled out using public private partnerships (PPPs) to fund the country’s infrastructure needs in health and education – apparently private profiteering in those areas is recognised as being undesirable. Not the same story though with transport, and the reasons for that differential treatment are mystifying. Earlier today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that one of two new roads that the government would be co-financing would be a PPP – namely, the Penlink project that will link the northern motorway to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.



HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages