Govt must investigate growing toxic algae problem

New information released by the Green Party today shows the number of reported toxic algae sites has increased 43 percent on last year.

“We are calling on the National Government to investigate the worrying rise in the number of toxic algae blooms infesting New Zealand’s rivers and lakes,” said Green Party water quality spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The reported number of toxic algae blooms around the country has risen from 21 different rivers and lakes last summer to 30 this summer.

“If ingested, toxic algae mats can kill livestock and dogs, and contact can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and skin irritations in humans.

“Under the National Government, New Zealanders have grown accustomed to seeing health warnings at their favourite swimming holes and this is unacceptable.

“The National Government needs to do more to understand the impact that nutrient run-off from farms is having on the level of toxic algae in our rivers and lakes.

“We can’t expect this problem to go away by itself. It’s likely toxic algae will become even more of a problem as water temperatures rise as a result of climate change,” she said.

The number of reported toxic algae blooms increased this year in eight different regions including in the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wellington, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Tasman, Manawatu, and Marlborough.

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