Health Warnings | Ngā whakatūpatotanga

Public health warnings are provided by Toi Te Ora Public Health to help the Bay of Plenty and Lakes communities manage and monitor local public health issues.

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Recreational water

Algal blooms

A number of lakes in the Rotorua area (such as Lake Rotoehu, Lake Okaro and Lake Rotoiti) are prone to blooms of blue-green algae that may be toxic and harmful to health. These lakes are monitored by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council from October to March and health warnings are issued by Toi Te Ora if test results show there is a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae. However, the lakes are not monitored during the winter months and algal blooms may occur rapidly and unpredictably. Therefore, it’s always best to look before you leap and avoid contact with the lake water if it:

  • looks discoloured,
  • has an unusual smell,
  • has green or brown particles suspended in it
  • has visible surface scum.


Current algal bloom health warnings

Advice below is current and any changes in status are updated on this page on the same day.

Issued Area Public health advice
10 November 2023 Lake Ōkaro Avoid recreational water contact
10 November 2023 Lake Maraetai Avoid recreational water contact
10 November 2023 Lake Ohakuri Avoid recreational water contact


Bacterial contamination

A health warning is in place for Kopurererua Stream at McCord Ave in Tauranga. Avoid any activity which results in contact with the stream water.

Go to Land Air Water Aotearoa for water quality information on beaches, lakes and rivers in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts.



The local Medical Officer of Health advises the public to not eat eels from Kopeopeo canal and Orini stream in Whakatāne due to elevated levels of dioxin in the eels and canal.


Heavy rain
It’s best to avoid swimming in rivers, streams, lakes, harbour areas and at beaches for at least 48 hours after heavy rain. There is likely to be contamination from rural and urban run-off in waterways after heavy rain. To avoid illnesses such as diarrhoea, vomiting, skin infections or ear infections, avoid swimming for at least 48 hours after heavy rain.



Toxic shellfish
Go to Ministry for Primary Industries for shellfish biotoxin warnings. Do not collect or eat shellfish from areas where shellfish biotoxin warnings have been issued.