Aquaculture for all

New pipe no guarantee for oyster farms

NEW ZEALAND - Far North District Mayor Yvonne Sharp says an upgrade to the sewer pipeline may not help prevent future contamination of Waiheke Inlet oyster farms.

The oyster farmers have had to close several times in recent years because of contamination and took the council to court last month, claiming breaks in the council's pipeline are to blame.

The council decided on Thursday to spend $3.6 million upgrading part of the pipeline ahead of schedule.

However, Sharp says oysters are susceptible to any virus that gets into the waterways and that can come from any source of sewage including discharges from the thousands of boats moored in the area.

The recent spill on April 8 to 10 sparked calls from oyster farmers and local Maori for the government to review the state of all sewerage systems in the Far North.

However, Environment Minster David Benson-Pope has refused to intervene saying he sees no need for the government to take action over the recent sewage spills.


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