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West Auckland river guardians collaborating with Safeswim

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

West Auckland community group Rivercare Group Te Wai o Pareira are testing the waters with the help of Safeswim this weekend. 

Safeswim employees will train Rivercare Group volunteers to carry out ongoing water safety testing at Taipari Strand in Te AtatÅ« Peninsula. Rivercare Group co-founder Russell Cavanagh says it is important to know the water quality levels where people swim and play on the water. 

‘A Safeswim site at Taipari Strand pontoon will be a real win for the community as there are so many people that swim, fish, water-ski, and enjoy other water sports from the pontoon.’ Cavanagh emphasises the significance of this collaboration. ‘This is a historic moment as this is the first time that Safeswim will be working with a community environmental group to take water samples for the Safeswim model in a brackish water environment.’ 

Safeswim - an Auckland City Council initiative - was approached by Rivercare Group founders Chris Ballantyne and Cavanagh in November 2018.

Te AtatÅ« locals Ballantyne and Cavanagh founded Rivercare group after sewage discharge from a broken pipe was found in nearby Huruhuru Creek. Safeswim were promptly contacted. 

‘Chris and I agreed that we need to do better. We need better monitoring of our waterways.’ Since it was founded, Rivercare Group has participated in clean-up events with Down To Earth Kiwis NZ (DTEK NZ), raised awareness via public outreach, initiated relationships with Watercare and Safeswim, and conducted surveys of the Te AtatÅ« area of Te Wai o Pareira (Henderson Creek) to identify pollution levels. 

Rivercare Group is run by a hard-working team of volunteers, who aim to improve the mauri (health and wellbeing) of Te Wai o Pareira. The public is invited to contact Rivercare Group for more information and to get involved.

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