Oil spill on the Wairoa river

If you were on the Wairoa River on Sunday 22nd April, you may have noticed oil (or pools of rainbow sheen) in the water.

On Saturday night vandals broke into the old power station at McLaren Falls and emptied a transformer that had approximately 80-100 litres of transformer oil in it. This oil tracked through the old station and out an old discharge pipe into the river pool where your rafting trips begin. Since Monday morning there has been a clean up taking place in and around the old station and all the other oils are being removed (along with all the copper which is possibly what the vandals were after).

A couple of very important points for you all to take note of:

1) If you were on the river on Sunday, check all of your gear and make sure that it is clean and free of residue oils. If you are unsure then I suggest washing wetsuit and PDF’s etc in dishwashing liquid or something similar. Once washed, do not pour your water down the drain but rather let it go over a patch of grass that is more than 20m from any water way.

2) If you are ever on the river (or any waterways in the EBOP region) and you notice something out of the ordinary (like oil on the water) Environment Bay of Plenty have a 24/7 Pollution Hotline number that you can phone. The number is 0800738393 I recommend that this number is added to every operator’s phone list.

Also, if you know any other operators or kayakers that were on the river that are not on this list, could you please pass this message on.

Gregory Meikle
Maritime Officer
Environment Bay of Plenty – Regional Council
6 Rata Street, Mount Maunganui
P O Box 364, Whakatane, New Zealand
Telephone: 0800 ENV BOP 0800 368 267
Facsimile: 0800 ENV FAX 0800 368 329
Auto Attendant: 0800 ENV AUTO 0800 368 288
Extension: 8419