The swimming warning for Pandora Pond has been downgraded today, after being in place for nearly a month.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board announced the warning was downgraded to 'Caution Advised'.

This means overall this site is considered a moderate infection risk. People should avoid swimming in water for at least 2 to 3 days after heavy rain, or if the water appears discoloured.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nicholas Jones said the swimming warning was downgraded following consistent water sample results that were within safe recreational water guidelines.


Dr Jones said a decision had been made, in collaboration with Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Napier City Council, to leave the pond at a cautionary status as levels could fluctuate following heavy rainfall events.

"On balance we believe the chances of illness from swimming, sailing or kayaking at Pandora are low, providing people avoid using it for three days after rainfall."

Hawke's Bay Regional Council Senior Coastal Quality Scientist Anna Madarasz-Smith said the council had undertaken extensive sampling from the Railway Bridge to the Inner Harbour and had not yet found the source of the contamination, but was working on what the contributing factors could be.

"Some avian, or bird contamination has been found but that would be expected in an estuary such as Ahuriri and HBRC certainly doesn't have the full picture yet," says Anna Madarasz-Smith.

She said further test results are expected within the next month, which may help shed some more light on the issue.