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.