An unidentified woman carrying a baby walks close to the
potentially toxic scum that has been accumulating in places
around the lower Tomahawk Lagoon and its outlet to Tomahawk
Beach. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Tomahawk residents say it is time to have a proper
discussion about the state of their lagoon, given concerns over
reduced water levels and toxic algae.
Last week, the Otago Regional Council issued a warning for
users of Tomahawk Lagoon after finding a ''potentially toxic
''We are urging parents to keep their children out of the
water and dog owners to do the same with their pets,''
council director of engineering, hazards and science Gavin
Resident Lloyd McGinty said he felt ''very in the dark''
about what was happening in the lagoon.
''I think the community as a whole would be interested in
being a bit better informed on that, and on a wider scale the
whole clean-up of that lagoon could be part of that
discussion as well.''
Regional council technical committee chairman Bryan Scott
said the council was trying to inform people of the danger in
the first instance.
''In terms of any future issues or management issues or any
community concerns, of course we should be listening. Any
positive type of community dialogue would be a good thing.''
Editor of the Tomahawk newsletter ''Hawk Talk'' Danielle
Culling said yesterday she was not aware the algal bloom had
''It is a bit of a worry. My kids like to go and play down by
the lagoon and the beach.''
Otago Peninsula Community Board deputy chairman Paul Pope
said the ''algal issues'' were happening on a regular basis
and they were of great concern to the community.
''Tomahawk is a unique area for the city and an area that is
quite important for the wildlife, particularly the
The lagoon used to be ''deeper and cleaner'' and there even
used to be a yacht club based at Tomahawk Lagoon, he said.
Yachts can no longer use the lagoon because it is too
A change to the grate in the outlet tunnel under the road was
thought to be responsible for silt becoming trapped in the
lagoon, Mr McGinty said.