National calls on Government to invest in water quality upgrade at Auckland beaches

There are calls for the Government to invest millions of dollars to urgently upgrade water quality at Auckland's beaches.

The Opposition says central government needs to treat the unhygienic conditions with some urgency, but the Government says it's already doing it.

Numerous Auckland beaches are deemed off-limits to swimmers after pollution from heavy rain. Some are red-flagged and have warnings for the public that the water could be contaminated with faecal bacteria.

The National Party's environment spokesperson Scott Simpson questions why the Government voted against a Select Committee report into the state of Auckland's water. He says National would have backed it.

"The Labour Government are very quick to criticise farmers and rural communities about their water quality, but they seem almost reluctant to engage in terms of Auckland, urban water quality."

But the Government says work is already underway.

"We've got the new water regulator Taumata Arowai. Part of their job is to work with all local government and all local authorities on really fixing up our stormwater and floodwater," Andrew Little says.

Simpson says spending in Auckland water quality issues would be money well spent, "not only for today but for future generations".

Auckland Council's Safeswim website gives information for each beach on how risky it is for people to swim there and whether they could become ill.