Dead ducks found in Kaiapoi
Nearly 1000 birds have died at wastewater treatment plants in Canterbury after an outbreak of botulism.
Waterfowl including ducks, teal and geese have been found dead at a treatment plant in Kaiapoi, with more discovered at other sites in Waimakariri and Christchurch.
The Kaiapoi plant’s shallow ponds and wetlands are home to between 5000 and 6000 birds, including mallards, paradise shelducks, black swans, teal and the New Zealand shoveler.
Officials estimate around 960 birds have been killed by the disease over the past month, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the population.
Waimakariri District Council utilities and roading manager Gerard Cleary said the outbreak first occurred in late January, with botulism found in the plant’s six oxidation and wetland ponds.
Michael Bate, who took the footage, claimed there was ‘‘no excuse for it’’.
‘‘In this day and age in a manmade environment we shouldn’t have botulism, not with the technology we have got. They have got the technology to make [the water] drinkable,’’ he said.