Porirua Har­bour given mixed re­port


It may be a case of a bridge over trou­bled wa­ter for Porirua’s young dare­dev­ils.

Jump­ing from the Pare­mata bridge is a sum­mer high­light for some, but the lat­est har­bour re­port says all is not well in what lies be­neath.

Porirua Har­bour has re­ceived its third an­nual re­port card and the chair­man of the Catch­ment and Com­mu­nity Trust, Grant Baker, has warned peo­ple to take care in the wa­ter.

‘‘Kids shouldn’t be swimming in there with open scratches or they could wind up with in­fec­tions,’’ he said.

The an­nual score­card as­sesses the health of the har­bour and ad­vises the only area for safe, year-round swimming is Kare­hana Bay.

The score­card re­ports ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port has im­proved, but lists con­cerns with the lev­els of mud in the Pau­ata­hanui area, the health of the har­bour, and wa­ter qual­ity of swimming beaches.

Porirua City coun­cil­lor Bron­wyn Kropp, who chairs the Porirua har­bour and catch­ment com­mit­tee, painted a more op­ti­mistic pic­ture and said the health of the har­bour was im­prov­ing.

She said the har­bour had been in­un­dated with peo­ple swimming over the sum­mer and it was a nor- mal pre­cau­tion to ad­vise peo­ple to avoid con­tact with the wa­ter for two or three days af­ter heavy rain­fall.

Baker said the har­bour wa­ter was safe for swim­mers to put their heads un­der most of the time, but peo­ple should be care­ful.

‘‘You wouldn’t want to be tak­ing a gulp of wa­ter,’’ he said.

Baker said the coun­cil wasn’t the only group re­spon­si­ble for the har­bour’s health and that res­i­dents needed to think about what they did with their waste wa­ter.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple don’t re­alise its go­ing straight into the har­bour,’’ he said.

Turi Hodges, the head coach at Porirua Canoe and Kayak Club, said club mem­bers had no­ticed the in­creased amount of silt in the har­bour.

‘‘Some chan­nels are now so shal­low they can no longer be used,’’ he said.

Hodges said club mem­bers were on the wa­ter most days and they hadn’t noted any im­prove­ment in the har­bour’s health.

‘‘If any­thing, it’s worse’’ he said.

Hodges said he would like to see the har­bour dredged to re­move the mud and silt.

‘‘If you dredge the chan­nels it would in­crease the tidal flow and help change the wa­ter.’’

The health of Porirua Har­bour is de­clin­ing or im­prov­ing, de­pend­ing who you ask.

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