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Submitted by admin2 on Fri, 11/11/2016 - 8:24pm

Whanau please get the word out urgently please. Paralytic toxin warning on all shellfish between Rarawa Beach to Whakapouaka ( Cape Karikari) including Houhoura and Rangaunu harbours.   This map shows the affected area and while we are raising questions with MPI and other agencies as to how this has been able to happen, right now the critical thing is to get the word out to our people that one of our staple and traditional Kai sources is unsafe.


For more information, read below or click on this link.

Public health warning - Marine biotoxin in shellfish

Date: 11 Nov 2016

Media contact: MPI media team

Telephone: 029 894 0328


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested in Northland between Rarawa Beach and Cape Karikari. The warning includes the Houhora and Rangaunu Harbours.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

Note: cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:

  • numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities (hands and feet)
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • paralysis and respiratory failure and in severe cases, death.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly. Commercially harvested shellfish – sold in shops and supermarkets, or exported – is subject to strict water and flesh monitoring programmes by MPI to ensure they are safe to eat.




Ānahera Herbert-Graves

Chief Executive

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu


09 4083013

027 6960930