Health warnings at several local beaches over Taranaki Anniversary Weekend

5 March 2021

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit is advising people to be aware of health warnings in place for several local beaches heading into Taranaki Anniversary Weekend.

The warnings follow sampling of seawater from four beaches in Taranaki on 1 March 2021, which returned elevated levels of the risk indicator bacteria enterococcus. Those beaches are Ohawe, Back Beach, Ngāmotu Beach and Waitara West.

Taranaki DHB’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Greg Simmons says the relevant local authorities have placed signs at the affected beaches.

“While I’m sure the public are disappointed with the situation given the time of year, nevertheless I urge beach-goers to comply with the health advice”.

High levels of the indicator are associated with an increased risk to swimmers or people who eat shell fish to become unwell with gastrointestinal illness.

Dr Simmons says “That’s why we ask people to look out for warning signs at beaches before they swim or collect shell fish”.

The Taranaki Regional Council who runs the beach water sampling programme is investigating potential causes for the high levels of indicator bacteria.

Gary Bedford, Director Environment Quality says “We do not believe we are seeing multiple contamination incidents at different coastal sites across the region, and investigations are continuing to try and identify the cause of the unusual results.

“Further samples have been taken at relevant sites, and as the test results become available, we hope to build a better picture of what has led to the atypical results at these popular swimming sites”.

Last updated: Friday, March 5, 2021

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