The material that washed ashore at Aurere last week has been confirmed by the Northland Regional Council as gigartina, a type of seaweed, as suspected by the Far North District Council (Beach mess 'unlikely to be sewage', October 18).

It was initially reported on social media, with the suggestion that it was sewage emanating from the council's wastewater plant at Taipa.

Video of what some took to be toilet paper was taken down shortly after it appeared on Facebook, but the response from some quarters was highly critical of the district council, and of infrastructure and asset manager Andy Finch's suspicion that it was a natural phenomenon.

Responses included:

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* Get your head out of the sand FNDC and check it out yourselves with witnesses.
* FNDC & NRC always covering up their $hit.
* The Northland Age what the ****** do you mean "it could be traces of seaweed". This tells me you haven't even looked!
* Just don't care aye shlda gathered samples had them sent away to lab analysis that would have proved them fndc hypocrites served with FACTS but yeah what a load of bs it's clear to (see) what that filth is don't take a scientist it's a blimin damn shame.
* oml! some kinda seaweed? Daaahahahaaaa what a friggn joke ... gummon FNDC jus cum clean and tell the truth, the clip shared on Social Media has obviously hit a nerve and good on him for bringing it to surface, making everyone in Aotearoa aware.
* Liars.