While the region made global headlines for the Rere rockslide over New Years 2016, Gisborne District Council neglected it’s responsibilities to protect public health by not monitoring river water quality and advising public Rere rockslide was unsafe to swim in.
The GDC website recorded dangerously high levels of pollutants in the Wharekopae River water in the three weeks before Christmas 2015 and advised the public not to use the river.
There was no further update until 6 January when the readings for Faecal Coliform went through the roof at (cfu/100ml) = 1100. And a subsequent reading on 12 January has levels still well above water quality that is safe for swimming.
Not enough is being done to fix these issues fast enough. The Gisborne Regional Freshwater Management Plan will be finalised this year but provisions in the draft are inadequate to make places like Rere rockslide safe for swimming.