Topic: Environment

Health officials: Public need to heed warnings

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

Health officials say they’re becoming frustrated that the public aren't taking heed of warnings of a toxic algae in shellfish on Northland's west coast.  The Medical Officer of Health, Virginia McLaughlin says, “We're putting up signs we're putting out media releases but even so, we're aware that people are still collecting shellfish in that area.”

Meanwhile locals like Iona Tana have another perspective. “I haven't heard of anyone come down here and getting shellfish and eating it.  I think everyone has been pretty vigilant.”

It's the second warning of its type this summer and applies to the area from the north head of the Kaipara harbour to the southern head of the Hokianga harbour. Virginia McLaughlin says the results of on going sampling due out this week will determine whether that area is increased, “In terms of this toxin, you can't see it you can't smell it you can't cook it out you can't freeze it out but you can certainly become very unwell.”