Green Party claims that the Waitara River is so polluted it is unsafe for bathers have been described as “baseless” by councillors.
Over the Queen’s Birthday weekend the Greens released a list of 10 rivers around the country that they claimed were now unsuitable for swimming.
The 10 included the Waitara, which the party said was affected by raw sewage spills.
So what are the facts:
“The Green Party’s facts are totally misaligned with reality,” council chief executive Basil Chamberlain said.
“It’s sad for the community of Waitara who can right now swim in their river 95 per cent of the time.”
So that is 345 days out of 365 it is fine for swimming.
The council’s director of environment quality, Gary Bedford, said he could find “no factual base to the Green’s claims”.
“We test the Waitara River every week during peak bathing season and have found it swimmable for 95 per cent of the time,” he said.
Bedford stressed that the council’s water quality data was publicly available and audited by Niwa to ensure its accuracy.
So who do you trust?