Taka­puna too un­safe for event

North Shore Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - LAINE MOGER

The Auck­land leg of a na­tional ocean swim race is be­ing re­lo­cated this sum­mer be­cause of poor wa­ter qual­ity in its Taka­puna Beach home.

This an­nounce­ment was the lat­est in a string of grow­ing con­cern re­gard­ing Auck­land’s wa­ter qual­ity.

King of the Bays, the last of the Ba­nana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Se­ries, was mov­ing to Devon­port af­ter 14 years be­ing hosted at Taka­puna.

Since the in­au­gu­ral event in 2004, ‘‘King of the Bays’’ had fea­tured a 2.8 kilo­me­tre swim from Mil­ford beach to Taka­puna beach.

Event or­gan­is­ers said they had been com­pelled to re­lo­cate be­cause of fre­quent wa­ter qual­ity is­sues at both beaches over the last few months.

Event di­rec­tor Scott Rice, said in a media re­lease, he re­fused to com­pro­mise swim­mer safety.

‘‘It’s re­ally dis­ap­point­ing to have to move af­ter 14 years, but it’s some­thing we felt we had to do,’’ Rice said.

‘‘Our de­ci­sion is aligned with the fact that we are pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing a safe, fun, sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment for our par­tic­i­pants.’’

As well as mul­ti­ple dis­tance swims out from the Taka­puna shore­line, it in­cluded events specif­i­cally for chil­dren.

Fre­quent red read­ings on Auck­land Coun­cil’s SafeSwim web­site for Mil­ford and Taka­puna beaches, fol­low­ing per­sis­tent rain, now ruled out the lo­ca­tions as a to­tally safe op­tion for swim­mers.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s SafeSwim used a so­phis­ti­cated fore­cast­ing model, based on in­ten­sive test­ing, to alert the pub­lic to the state of the wa­ter qual­ity.

Con­cerns around Auck­land’s beaches were also be­ing fu­elled by an in­crease in wa­ter­borne ill­nesses, chiefly the minute par­a­site, cryp­tosporid­ium, con­tracted through con­tact with fae­ces, in the Waitem­ata¯ DHB area. Cryp­tosporid­ium caused di­ar­rhoea and nau­sea.

Auck­land Re­gional Pub­lic Health Ser­vice (ARPHS) said it was no­ti­fied of 36 cases of cryp­tosporid­ium in the DHB area this sum­mer. This com­pared with only 20 the pre­vi­ous sum­mer.

The King of the Bays was the fi­nal event in the 2017/18 se­ries tak­ing place on April 14.

The event in­cluded a 2.5km swim from Chel­tenham beach around North Head, a 750m swim from Tor­pedo Bay and chil­dren’s 200m swim off Wind­sor Park.

JA­SON DORDAY/STUFF

The King of the Bays ocean swim is mov­ing from Taka­puna, be­cause of wa­ter qual­ity is­sues.

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