Pleas to improve water quality in Piha

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

Calls are mounting for the government to improve the quality of the country's waterways. Piha resident in West Auckland, Pita Turei says action needs to start at a local level.  

Piha is a place to swim, surf the waves and explore nature's beauty by locals in the summer, but at the moment it's only good for washing surfboards. Even the ducks aren't swimming.

“These are the waters of Kahu. Kahu was the wife of Raukataura from the Tainui canoe.  It's a resource of the people of Kawerau-ā-Maki, fresh life giving water, now it’s polluted,” says Pita Turei, from Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki,

A local resident told Te Kāea, “Back in the days we use to swim in there, and I just seen the sign over there, can't even swim there no more, so that's a bit of a shocker.”

Six years ago, the government asked the Land and Water Forum to create a plan for freshwater management, and the Iwi Leaders Forum has been calling on the government to improve the quality of our waterways since it began.

“For two years, we've began calling on the Minister about this issue, about pollution on the environment by Primary Industries,” says Rahui Papa from the Iwi leaders forum.

Every summer, the lagoon is polluted by overloaded sceptic tanks.  The issue that has angered locals.

“The Auckland Council is big, but they give little help at all. A warning sign is not enough to help clean up our lagoon,” says Turei.

Water will be one of the main issues on the agenda for the Iwi Leaders Forum at Waitangi, next month.