National | Health

Iwi gutted by raw sewage spill in Raglan estuary

Raglan local Chloe Hartstone says a five-month ban for shellfish needs to be put in place. This comes after a major sewage pipe burst into the Raglan estuary. Despite warnings, people are still being seen out on the water.

Approximately 15m³ of raw sewage let loose into the Raglan Harbour and locals are up in arms.

Hera Harihari (Ngāti Mahanga / Ngāti Hourua) says, “We are here it really hurt, and saddened again.  We are absolutely gutted!”

On Saturday morning, Whaingaroa Whānau Hoe Waka Club were notified that a major sewage pipe had burst on Nihinihi St just as they were about to practice on the water.

Hartstone, says, “It's embarrassing, but more than that it's sad for the locals.  People won't be eating from certain areas where they traditionally collect for months."

Chloe Hartstone says the sewage treatment system has been an issue of contention for years.

There has been a long history of local people standing up against the council and trying to work with them, as well as to improve the wastewater treatment in Raglan.

The smell is noticeable and now under the resource consent, if sewage spills into the water, the council is obliged to tell the local iwi and community about it.

The Waikato District Council say they are continuing to test the water, to determine when exactly it will be safe for people to swim, fish and collect shellfish again in Raglan.