| 25 Feb 2023

Health Warnings lifted

Health Warning – Unsafe Recreational Water Quality at Pareora River at Evans Crossing, Otaio River Gorge, Waihao River at Gum Tree Road, and Waihao at Bradshaws Bridge

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning after high levels of faecal bacteria were found in consecutive samples taken from Pareora River at Evans Crossing, Waihao River at Gum Tree Road and Waihao at Bradshaws Bridge.

“Rainfall in the area in the last few days has most likely caused the high levels of faecal bacteria,” says Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health, National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora.

A number of other popular swimming sites in Waitaha | Canterbury may also have high levels of contamination after recent rainfall. People should avoid all rivers and beaches for at least two days after heavy rain.

“Water quality at affected sites is not considered suitable for recreational uses including swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens,” says Dr Brunton.

Eating shellfish from these sites should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water before cooking. For further information on gathering mahinga kai refer to information below.

Water contaminated by human or animal faecal matter may contain a range of disease-causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.

“In most cases the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived. However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as Hepatitis A or Salmonella infection,” says Dr Brunton.

The sites where water quality is affected are listed on Environment Canterbury’s website.

For further details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:


For more information about Mahinga Kai:


For further information, contact:

Karen Berry
Communications Manager
Te Whatu Ora
South Canterbury  
021 139 7442