Polluted Auckland beaches should be investigated

The ongoing polluted state of Auckland’s beaches is unacceptable and should be formally investigated by Parliament, National’s Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“It’s an appalling state of affairs that has only got worse in the past three years. In many cases this pollution flows directly into the already compromised Hauraki Gulf.

“The fact that as many as one in ten people swimming at popular Auckland beaches are likely to become ill highlights the just how polluted those beaches are.

“The sad thing is, people are missing out on their chance to swim during the peak summer holiday season yet again.”

Progress on removing industrial waste, stormwater and raw sewage from polluting Auckland’s beaches and waterways remains a low priority for the Labour Government, Mr Simpson says.

Labour MPs recently voted against a proposal by National for Parliament’s Environment Select Committee to conduct a formal inquiry into unhealthy and polluted Auckland beaches.

“The Labour Government never misses an opportunity to criticise farmers around water quality but is happy to ignore massive public health risks around urban beach water quality.

“It’s not just human life and health at risk, but also the delicate and threatened coastal and marine ecosystems, and marine life.

“Labour MPs will get another chance to support a select committee inquiry when Parliament resumes in February. I hope they won’t turn their backs on Auckland’s beaches again.”