Testing has found faecal contamination in the stormwater discharging onto the mudflats due to discharges from septic tanks in the Urenui township.
Due to potential health risks associated with the septic tank contamination, there is no shellfish gathering within the estuary and Urenui River mouth. No walking or swimming on the mudflats.
In addition, Ngāti Mutunga has placed a rāhui on the awa from Okoki Pā (Te Rangi Hiroa/Sir Peter Buck Memorial) to the river mouth. This prevents all water recreation (including swimming, shellfish gathering and fishing).