Dead man­groves and oily scum re­minder of spill

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

An oil spill 18 months ago could still be caus­ing prob­lems at a Te Pa­papa stream.

Cy­clist David Sier raised con­cerns about the water­way af­ter notic­ing man­groves dy­ing along the streambed.

The small tidal creek runs through an in­dus­trial area and out to the Manukau Har­bour.

Mr Sier cy­cles past ev­ery day on his way to work in Pen­rose and be­came wor­ried about the dy­ing trees.

“When you look back at the streambed from the walk­way you’ve got quite a graphic dis­play,” he says.

“For five to 10 feet ei­ther side of the stream all you’ve got are dead man­grove trees.”

An oily scum can be seen on the sur­face of the wa­ter and a black soot coats the nearby walk­way.

Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil’s pol­lu­tion team says the man­groves might still be dy­ing as a re­sult of a lin­seed oil spill in Fe­bru­ary last year.

“It’s pos­si­ble the oil has been ab­sorbed by the man­groves and there may still be an on­go­ing ef­fect,” says pol­lu­tion re­sponse man­ager Nigel Clarke.

The ap­pear­ance could also be the re­sult of a nat­u­ral dieback, he says.

But the black dust coat­ing, which ap­peared more re­cently on nearby veg­e­ta­tion and path­ways, is cause for con­cern.

Com­pli­ance air qual­ity man­ager Gareth Noble says the dust has been caused by un­pro­cessed com­post at a neigh­bour­ing site.

The com­pany re­spon­si­ble has been spo­ken to and will have the com­post cleaned up within three weeks.

Mr Noble says mov­ing the stock­pile will only cre­ate more dust.

The dust is un­likely to harm fish or plants.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Murky wa­ter: David Sier is wor­ried about the state of a Te Pa­papa stream where man­groves have died.

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