In the last few days, fishermen have observed and recovered dead mature trout in the Tukituki, below the Patangata Bridge.

The trout have a black fungus growing in their gills.

One such trout apparently has been sent to a lab for analysis. A potential source of the fungus is sewage.

Meanwhile, we wait and wait for CHB to submit its resource consent application for an alternative sewage disposal scheme. You know, the one that’s supposed to dispose of their effluent on land … before 2014. Yet even with the Regional Council poised with its approval stamp in mid-air (effectively, it will be approving its own plan), CHB has dawdled over filing its application.

I wonder which will arrive first … the toxicology report on the dead trout or CHB’s overdue Tukituki clean-up consent application!

Or October 9th … election day!

Tom Belford

P.S. In addition, fishermen on the Tuki on Thursday report that the river is full of smelly algae, despite ample rains that might have been expected to flush the river.

P.P.S. Hey, Councillors McGregor and Gilbertson, you two are our protectors of the Tuki for that stretch of the river … what’s going on up there?

Join the Conversation


  1. Of interest, but not necessarily related, is the smell that was emanating from the lower reaches of the Tukituki a short time ago, albeit over a number of weeks, when the river level was quite low – a sweet musty earthy smell akin to bacillis subtilis. The intensity of this was such that it seems unlikely that it would

    not have been noticed previously on similar occasions.

    One wonders as to the potential impact of this bacteria, which is increasingly being used in horticulture, multiplies rapidly and persists for a protracted period, on our waterways and aquatic life.

    Previous toxicological reports commissioned by the regional council on 'mass' bird deaths over the years have either not ascertained cause, or alternatively findings have simply not been published. I would not be surprised at similar findings on this occasion.

  2. I suggest anyone finding these dead trout send them through the mail to CHB. Wrap them up like gifts.

  3. If the river is that bad that it can kill a fish, then the waters are far far worse than we've been told. Bacteria and fungus survive in horrendous conditions while normal life dies off… not a good sign people! I wouldn't be going near that water, or in the ocean near the outlets if it was me! i wonder how the shellfish near the river mouth are coping?

  4. I'm originally from CHB now in Lower Hutt. I have fished the Tukituki for 40 years last time in December then the river was really low and to now hear this sad news on the state of the river is disappointing to say the least. River flows are affected by the introduction of dairy farms and it is time the council address this real issue together with the sewerage problem – again I say disappointing!!!!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.