Punakaiki residents say they want to be told if chlorine is added to their drinking-water supply, after a tavern owner lost seven goldfish following an alleged sabotage of the local water scheme.

"They were more than belly up," Punakaiki Tavern owner Ian Ryder said of the incident. "It was pretty quick."

The first they knew was when the greenery in the fishpond went white. They then smelled the chlorine, but it was too late for seven of his 80 or so goldfish.

"They put chlorine in without telling anybody," Mr Ryder said.


The Buller District Council had not apologised. Residents asked to be informed if chlorine was added again.

He said his motel units also stank of chlorine when people had showers, but if they had been told in advance they could have informed their guests.

However, council manager operations Steve Griffin said this morning the council had added chlorine after someone sabotaged the intake. Police had been notified.

Once they realised the scheme had been interfered with they had to add chlorine quickly to kill any bugs.

"It's just one of those unfortunate things," Mr Griffin said.

A week ago, Kumara resident Bronwyn Wafer lost nine of her fish when the Westland District Council added chlorine to the Kumara town water supply.

It was the second time it had happened to Bronwyn Wafer last time she lost all 18 fish.

She said she understood why the council had added chlorine, but they should have advertised it. The council has apologised.

-Greymouth Star