Daiken NZ admits spillage into waterway

A section of Saltwater Creek in North Canterbury. File pic Photo: Supplied / Google Maps
A section of Saltwater Creek in North Canterbury. File pic Photo: Supplied / Google Maps
The company responsible for a wastewater spill into a waterway in North Canterbury says it is intent on finding out the causes of the incident.

On Friday the Canterbury Regional Council (ECan) said it was responding to reports of a toxic discharge from a factory near the Ashley township at Saltwater Creek.

It said the spill was toxic to fish and other aquatic life, and tuna and eels had been affected.

In a statement today, Daiken New Zealand said it shared community concerns about an accidental discharge from its premises.

Operations director Duncan Ward said the discharge was stopped as soon as it was discovered early on Friday morning and Daiken reported it to Environment Canterbury soon after.

The company was working with ECan to help mitigate any environmental damage and cooperating with the regional council's investigations.

Ward said Daiken's priority was "to thoroughly investigate the root causes of the incident".

Daiken NZ was not a timber treatment plant, as had initially been reported, and therefore there were none of the heavy metals or other highly toxic substances usually related with timber treatment, present in the discharge, he said.

"We compliment and thank ECan for its speedy work to notify whitebaiters and other water users not to harvest and consume whitebait, shellfish and eels (etc) in the meantime.

"We also promptly notified the water and environmental groups we are partnered with to look after Saltwater Creek.''

Ward said anyone worried about the impact of the discharge on food or water sources should refer to advice from Environment Canterbury.