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A cleaner lagoon good for all


If you see people wakeboarding down at Onehunga Lagoon, you can be sure of one thing – the water is clean. Rixen NZ, the company operating Onehunga Cable Park, has to pay for testing the water quality once a week, or more if a special event is on. Director Kerry Martin explains it is one of the conditions of their five-year resource consent. “We do not operate in dirty water,” he says. 




The main problem that Rixen faces is that if there is more than 10mls of rain in one day, they have to “stand down” their wakeboarding operations for 48 hours. Kerry goes on to explain that because the lagoon is a “unique environment”, it can be flushed out after heavy rain, via the sluice gates, and he says testing already shows “the flushed water is cleaned up faster.” 

Kerry is hoping that a year’s worth of water testing data might convince Auckland Council to reduce the heavy rain stand-down clause down to 24 hours. 

Rixen NZ is a non-profit social enterprise which aims to provide affordable recreational and leisure opportunities, in both the local and wider community. One part of their business is to teach water sports to many of the low-decile schools throughout Auckland. Kerry says, “part of our journey is also to clean up the water.” 

There are mixed opinions about what causes the dirty water. If it rains after a sustained dry period, one of the main culprits is dog faeces from the dog park. Kerry says the solution to this is more dog bins around the park, free plastic bags, and better education for the dog owners. However, it’s not just the dogs; he thinks the water quality of the Manukau us also partly to blame, as well as storm water drains they haven’t yet found. 

Whatever the reasons, Kerry is determined. “Our goal is to establish that a flushing regime will improve the water quality for all users.” 










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