Waiuku locals disgusted after Waitangi Falls closed over faeces, E.coli pollution

A popular swimming spot in south Auckland has been forced to close after a sudden spike in E.coli pollution.

The Waitangi Falls at Waiuku are so full of faeces they stink and locals are disgusted.

On a hot day at the height of summer the waterfall would usually be packed. But on Sunday it's anything but and the odd few who've come down for a dip couldn't even stand the smell.

"It's horrifying, it's rubbish," one person says.

"I wouldn't even go closer than I am now," another adds.

But it's what's underneath the surface that's the danger. Seven days ago the falls fell victim to E.coli - or in other words faeces.

"The water's full of animal poo and human poo," a third person says.

E.coli is a bacteria that can cause sickness, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dorothy Hoskins knows just how bad it can get after an E.coli infection in South America almost killed her. And now she's heartbroken to see a place down the road from her home, where she swims with her grandchildren, so polluted.

"I'm just absolutely horrified, I'm disgusted that you come down for a swim and this is what you're greeted with. It's soul-destroying," she says.

It's been more than a week since the community first noticed the pollution, only weeks after Aucklanders were told to stay out of the water at more than 50 beaches because of a similar risk.

Hoskins says the council needed to act sooner.

"We need action. Seven days have gone now, seven days of literally shit pouring into the Manukau Harbour - this is a beautiful harbour, people live on this harbour. Something needs to be done and needs to be done now," she says.

In a statement, the Council says its pollution response team is "monitoring levels and will continue to do so until water quality is back to normal".

"The cause of this pollution is now under investigation," it added.

But locals say something needs to be done now to clean it.

"We have to act," Hoskins says.

A community still desperate for a swim. But what they found when they got there, drove them away again.