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    Rāhui for Motueka foreshore remains in place

    Originally posted 19 October 2023. Updated 24 January 2024.

    A rāhui on a large area of the Motueka foreshore remains in effect until further notice.

    A decision has been made to keep the rāhui in place for the Motueka coastline until further testing can be done on the water and sediment in the area. This approach is to ensure the safety of the community in the waterways.

    In September 2023 it was discovered filtration equipment at the Motueka Wastewater Treatment plant was not performing to the required level.

    Despite actions taken by Te Kaunihera o te tai o Aorere to cope with the equipment failure and to prevent the large scale treatment ponds from overflowing, partly treated waste water has entered the estuarine areas, and is therefore likely to have entered our tupuna awa and moana.  

    Taiao leaders from mana whenua have visited the Motueka facility and expressed their concerns to the council across a broad range of matters including the location of the infrastructure and the discharge it releases.  

    Long term, Taiao leaders will continue to advocate for this facility to be moved to another location and to stop discharging treated wastewater to our awa and moana.

    About the Rāhui

    The rāhui was implemented on Wednesday by the hau kāinga whānau of Motueka with the support of the eight mana whenua iwi of Te Tauihu and Tasman District Council.

    A rōpū of mana whenua iwi gathered at Motueka for karakia to acknowledge the implementation of the rāhui.   

    Area covered

    The rāhui covers the coastline and river mouths from north of the saltwater baths to the Riuwaka river mouth and prevents the gathering of seafood and kai in these areas, as well as swimming and entering the water.  

    Do not collect or eat shellfish; avoid water contact

    Whānau are warned not to take shellfish or have contact with water in the area outlined on the below map until further notice.

    Testing for harmful bacteria in the estuary and moana has been stepped up to twice a week instead of once every six months.

    The area will continue to be monitored and the rāhui will stay in place until levels of contamination are considered low enough to be safe to return to activities in the area and our whānau, hapū and iwi are happy that it is safe to lift the rāhui.

    Information from Te Kaunihera o te tai o Aorere

    Motueka Wastewater Plant heading back to health but rāhui remains in place - January 23

    Richard Liddicoat

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    Rāhui for Motueka foreshore remains in place