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Initial PFAS Investigation Wrapped Up

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s initial investigation into the presence of PFAS in the Whareroa area is now complete. The final test results showed no PFAS compounds could be detected in the soils at the marae, nearby recreation and residential areas, or in further sampling undertaken in the hangi pit.

General Manager of Regulatory Services Sarah Omundsen says staff met with residents last night to update them on the results and discuss the next stage of this investigation.

“Although it is pleasing that PFAS compounds have not been detected in the drinking water or immediate recreation and residential areas, our top priority is still the community at the heart of this area. For those who live here, or whakapapa to this land, any potential contamination is understandably concerning,” Ms Omundsen says.

“We recognise that for this community this is just one of a number of issues they’re currently facing and although complex and decades in the making we’re determined to find solutions,” Ms Omundsen says.

“The next stage of this investigation will include a wider risk assessment and review of the potential sources of PFAS contamination within the Mount Maunganui industrial area. We will continue to work alongside Tauranga City Council and the Whareroa community throughout this process, and seek advice from Toi te Ora Public Health as required,” Ms Omundsen says.

Regional Council became aware of the presence of PFAS close to Whareroa Marae following the review of a contaminated land assessment which accompanied a resource consent application. This led to a proactive investigation of the area surrounding the marae. The concentrations of PFAS detected in the open drain next to the airport and at the outlet of this drain into the harbour do not exceed the recreational human health guideline adopted by central government.

For more information on PFAS please refer to this Ministry for the Environment webpage.

To learn more about the Mount Maunganui Industrial Area and the work Regional Council is doing in this area, please visit www.boprc.govt.nz/mountindustrial

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