Tensions are running high in Titahi Bay, north of Wellington, as frustration grows at sewage flowing onto the beach.
The coastal community met local authorities over plans to re-consent the area's wastewater treatment plant.
Titahi Bay residents have had enough of sewage in their beloved beachwater.
"We want to have a safe beach and harbour to have recreational use, to swim and get kaimoana from," Michelle Laurenson says.
A public hui was held with local authorities about plans to re-consent Porirua's wastewater treatment plant.
"It's a bit disappointing with the lack of council officials here tonight and elected members. Council seems to be consistently inconsistent in Porirua, the community has a long-term issue here," Titahi Bay RSA President Simon Strombom says.
Those who live nearby say the re-consenting doesn't stack up.
"We think there needs to be conditions for the treatment plant, which is why we're here tonight to discuss, that are going to be tighter to make sure that contamination doesn't get worse," Laurenson says.
Whenever there's heavy rain, toilet paper and faeces flow onto the street and stormwater gushes out onto the beach.
One of the water samples collected last year showed levels of E. coli were 300-times the amount considered safe for swimming.
Wellington Water say re-consenting is the right thing to do.
"We need to get a consent for the treatment plant and then there's another whole tranche of work that's being done looking at the network," says wastewater contracts manager Anna Hector.
"There have been some issues at the plant over the years, and we've tried reasonably hard to inform people when they've happened.
"We haven't always been perfect but we're doing our best to ensure people know what's going on and what we're doing to rectify some of those issues that we're having."
The consent included a promise to upgrade the plant by 2023, but Wellington Water's principal environmental scientist admits it still won't be perfect.
"It will still be a recommendation not to swim in these waters during and after a rainfall event. But overall the level impact on contact recreation and shellfish is expected to be low," Dave Cameron says.
Public submissions close at the end of the month.