Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Bay of Plenty oil disaster has significant affects on leisure

Bay of Plenty oil disaster has significant affects on leisure
October 14, 2011

The leisure industry in the coastal Bay of Plenty area is suffering significant affects as a result of the Rena oil spill with container debris now continually entering the Tauranga harbour and re-oiling nearby beaches with each tide.

The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) has reported that beaches and parks are closed around Tauranga, with aquatic recreation and food gathering having nearly completely ceased. The environmental toll rises, as do people gathering at the beach to see for themselves the destruction, or to return looking to help make it the way it used to be.

Geoff Canham, Chairman of the NZRA Central Region reports "as a local, it is like being forced to watch a horrible crime again and again.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us as a community for a very long time. Until people feel they have retrieved their special places the only recreation for many could be on the end of a shovel".

Canham says people are beginning to already notice massive changes in the way they live, stating "you can't walk the dog, or even walk yourself around our harbour foreshores or on the beach. People can't enter the water, swim, surf, fish, or train for parts of their triathlon.

The Mount Hot Saltwater Pools has turned off its sea intake. Many communities that rely on kaimoana to live are unable to gather it anymore. Fishing and surfing concessions have ceased."

Canham says beach clean ups are now the main activity, adding "this area reveres its coast. There are over 50 coast care groups, two harbour recreation forums, and dozens of beach wardens; people are hard wired into these recreation settings as a way of life. They are devastated."

The impact on tourism in the area has yet to be fully comprehended.

The recent Tauranga Harbour Recreation Strategy user surveys showed that 50% of harbour users in either summer or autumn were from Auckland or the Waikato, who mostly cited "beautiful and clean conditions" as their reason for repeat visiting and staying in the area.

As the scale of the environmental disaster continues to sink the industry is proving resilient, Canham concluding "while Tauranga is facing a summer where it may not be possible to even go to the beach, the local newspaper has already profiled alternative recreation opportunities including our relatively new Regional Parks such as Papamoa Hills, TECT All Terrain, and Huharua Harbour Park.

"The Mount Hot Pools, open after a long closure due to deferred maintenance, has switched to using town supply water and is open. The new dog bylaws have created places for dogs to ensure their owners walk, the Kaimai Forest Park is still open, and nearly all of these locations still provide views of the sea and harbour."

For more information go to

Related Articles

20th March 2009 - Moreton Bay Back in Business

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport



Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing



We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks



Email for trade enquiries:  Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business