The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after very high
levels of faecal bacteria were found in samples taken from Sandy Bay and Rapaki.
Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says “Water quality in the Sandy Bay and Rapaki areas are
not considered suitable for recreational uses including swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and
Eating shellfish from these sites should also 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,” Dr Humphrey says.
The sites where water quality is affected are listed on Environment Canterbury and LAWA’s website, he says.
Canterbury District Health Board
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the
Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs
Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch
City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and
disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and
protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.