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Waiwhakaiho River at Merrilands Domain

This river drains an extensively developed farmland catchment and flows through two kilometres of urban New Plymouth upstream of this popular domain and recreational area which is nearly 4 km from the sea.

 It is a popular site for swimming, walking or picnicking on the banks of the river. 

For all sites, the Council advises:

Avoid for three days after heavy rain, if the river is high, or if you cannot see the bottom clearly.

Recreational bathing surveys over the last two summers showed that 85% (2017-2018) and 92% (2018-2019) of samples met the freshwater microbiological water quality guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MfE, 2003) and did not exceed the ‘Action’ level (>550 E.coli cfu/100mls).

The State of the Environment technical report showing the freshwater recreational monitoring results for 2018-2019 is available at


Please note that the Taranaki Regional Council calculates the Overall Bacteria Risk (risk of bacterial infection from swimming) for each site based on the test results of bacteria samples collected during routine sampling events.  The test results of follow up samples are not included in the assessment of risk by the regional council.

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