Officials warn of toxic shellfish on the northern Hawke's Bay coastline.


Hawke's Bay District Health Board advises that shellfish along the Hawke’s Bay coastline between Whareongaonga (approximately 22 kilometres north of Mahia) and Mohaka River should not be eaten due to dangerous levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin.

The Ministry for Primary Industries latest shellfish sample from Opoutama Beach taken last week has returned with a PSP Toxin level of 1.2 milligrams of toxin per kilogram of shellfish flesh. This is over the Ministry of Primary Industries safe health limit of 0.8 milligrams per kilogram of flesh.

Kina, mussels, toheroa, pipis, tuatua, oysters and cockles in closed area should not be eaten;

Paua, crab, and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process;

Cooking affected shellfish does not remove the toxin;

Fish, such as snapper, gurnard, and terakihi are not affected by the algae and are still safe to eat.

Anyone eating toxic shellfish in closed areas could be at risk of serious illness. Symptoms of PSP can occur within 12 hours of eating affected seafood and can include:

- Numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities first.

- Difficulty swallowing, or breathing.

- Headache, dizziness, and double vision.

- Severe cases may suffer respiratory arrest resulting in death if medical treatment is not immediately available.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from any area they should contact a doctor immediately and also advise the public health unit on (06) 878 1329. The public health unit has sent information to doctors, community groups and other authorities in the region.

Warning signs in the extended closure area are presently being erected at main shellfish collection and boat launching sites.

Anyone wanting further information can phone the Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Toxic Shellfish Information Line on (06) 878-1329. There is a pre-recorded message giving the latest sampling results, the status of the closure, and a facility for people to leave their contact details and a message if required.

Further sampling is being undertaken by the Ministry of Primary Industries. Information on the closure will be posted and updated on Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s websitewww.healthinhawkesbay.co.nz in the Public Health Unit’s area of the site.

The Foodback project is coming to Wairoa!


The Foodback project is coming to Wairoa!

It is led by a small team of researchers, Stefanie Vandevijvere and Rachel Williamson, who are passionate about health and wellbeing.

At present the team are designing an app that will collect information about healthy food places in Wairoa and they would love to have your help.

The app will be used to gather information on the kinds of food that are being sold in local schools, ECEs, supermarkets, takeaways, fast food outlets, sport clubs, and outdoor spaces around Wairoa.

All of the information that is collected will be fed back to participants and to ‘change agents’ in the community.

It will show people where the healthy ‘hot spots’ are and indicate how well the schools, supermarkets, sport clubs and food outlets are doing.

At the moment it is in the design stage, however, and they'd love to hear what you think about it.

Please come along to a meeting to talk about the project and share your great ideas.

The Foodback project team will be in Wairoa at the Wairoa Community Centre, 33 Marine Parade on Tuesday 7 July from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and again from 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Please come to one of these two meetings.

Free, healthy kai will be served at the meetings and childcare will be available if you’d like it.

A 9yr old Hawke's Bay boy is in a critical condition at Starship after an accident at school.


Police are treating an incident at a Hawke’s Bay primary school yesterday, where a pupil was injured, as an accident.

Emergency services were called to Taradale Primary School at 1.15pm after a pupil was found unconscious and having difficulty breathing.

Read more: A 9yr old Hawke's Bay boy is in a critical condition at Starship after an accident at school.

Hawke's Bay births drop to their lowest in over a decade.


Statistics New Zealand have recorded a drop in the number of babies being born in Hawke's Bay.

Births for the year ending March 2015 were 2038, the regions lowest rate since 2003.

An analyst for Statistics New Zealand said she did not think that birth figures would continue to drop.

She said births had been fluctuating and this is expected to continue. 

A genuine Hawke's Bay nurse and midwife hero.


Debs Higgins, who is the Family Violence Intervention Programme Co-Ordinator at the HastingsHealth Centre (HHC), was the big winner at the International Nurses and Midwives Day Awards atHawke’s Bay Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital today (Friday, 15 May).

Mrs Higgins was named Nursing Hero, after earlier being acknowledged for her postgraduate studies at EIT. A nurse for 26 years - 21 years at the Tairawhiti District Health Board and the last five years with The Hastings Health Centre (HHC) - she recently completed her Master of Nursing Degree with her thesis subject, predictably enough, family violence interventions.

The mother of three, who also helps manage a farm with her husband "Cooch", took over as the Family Violence Intervention Programme Co-Ordinator at the centre in 2011, with routine screening of women and children having started at HHC three years earlier. The programme was initially developed with support from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) and the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Foundation, and HHC was the first primary care provider in New Zealand to establish such a programme.

"Screening is entrenched in daily activity at the centre - a cultural norm," Mrs Higgins said. "We have more than 40 nurses, 25 doctors and most of our receptionists involved in it, all ably supported by our Champion’s team of 10 family violence intervention champions made up of nine nurses and a doctor, a clinical support nurse and myself.

"It would be my dream that every doctor and nurse is routinely screening at every opportunity because the opportunities are great. Eighty percent of women see their GP once a year. And it’s known that the victims of domestic violence see their GP seven times more often than non-victims. Hopefully asking the right question at the right time will ultimately become routine throughout primary care, but it’s not happening yet. It’s really empowering when you see the difference it can make - the change it can bring about in the women.

"Our programme covers the spectrum - elder abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, partner screening, victims of sexual assault. It was initially an in-house programme but now in collaboration with Health Hawke’s Bay (PHO), and with support from HBDHB we train other doctors and nurses."

Dr Faye Clark of Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care recently described The Hastings Health Centre as a "centre of excellence" for family violence intervention in primary care.

Screenings now reaching well into five figures, and successful actions and plans put in place to remove women and children from immediate danger as a result, back that up. As does the interest in the programme from around the country, with many requests to borrow the programme.

A total of 14 awards were handed out today, with Excellence in Clinical Practice shared by HBDHB’s Community Ear Nurse Carol Brosnan and Clinical Nurse Specialist Respiratory Sue Ward.

International Nurses and Midwives Day Awards:

Nursing Hero: Debs Higgins, Hastings Health Centre

Excellence in Clinical Practice: Carol Brosnan; Sue Ward, HBDHB

Innovation and Support: Abby Young, Registered Nurse (Emergency Department), HBDHB

Teamwork: Villa 3, HBDHB

Maureen Bent Memorial: Carol Edwards, Registered Nurse (Cardiac Services), HBDHB

Health Hawke’s Bay Nursing Award: Yvonne Little, Practice Nurse, The Doctors Waipawa

Excellence in Clinical Practice and Innovation for Practice Nursing in a general practice setting

Services to Midwifery: Kathy Kavanagh, Independent Lead Maternity Carer

Services to Maori Midwifery: Virginia Mikara, Wairoa Health Centre

Services to Nursing: Wendy Simcock, Associate Charge Nurse (Theatre), HBDHB

Services to Maori Nursing: Erena Cooper, Public Health Nurse (Child Health), Napier Health Centre

EIT Excellence in Support for Undergraduate Education (Workplace): Taradale Masonic Residential Home and Hospital

EIT Excellence in Support for Undergraduate Education (Individual): Tanya Hancock

DON Award - Postgraduate: Debs Higgins

DON Award - Undergraduate: Nayda Heays

Free dental care in Napier!

It's not often that you get anything for free in this world, but six dentists volunteered today, to perform free dental work to those who need it.

Today Dentist on Raffles in Napier opened its doors to perform any dental procedure for free.

For mother of two Kaya Predki, having her tooth finally pulled out means an end to debilitating pain.

"I'm so relieved and I just feel really thankful, just so thankful especially to him it was an amazing job," says Predki.

Dentist Ian Rosenberg says "Today we've done about five extractions, and two restorations and one dental clean and so mainly it’s just for the relief of pain."

It's a New Zealand Dental Association and Southern Cross partnership that has seen six dentists volunteer for a full day of work.

Dentist Wynton Perrett says "The group of dentists just wanted to put it out there for the day and offer the service for free."

The initiative had been done in the bigger cities, but it’s the first time it had taken place in smaller towns like Napier.

Loren Miringaorangi who had taken advantage of the dental programme today says "I would need another four more at least, money is tight so you just can't spend it on your teeth."

In the future, smaller regions like Gore and Oamaru will get their turn, where more quality of life can be returned and more smiles restored.

Our reporter Aroha Treacher will have more on this story tonight on Te Kāea 5:30pm.

Hawke's Bay motorcyclist breaks leg in motorcycle crash

A 55-year-old man has been lifted to hospital in a helicopter after he crashed his motorcycle through a fence on Sunday afternoon.

St John Ambulance attended the incident in Maraekakaho, Hawke's Bay after being alerted at about 12.25pm.

The motorcyclist was awake but had a broken leg when paramedics arrived, Police Sergeant Mel Leonard said.


"When we arrived he was conscious and breathing, but had a broken femur, and was flown out by helicopter to the hospital."

Whakapirau Road was blocked by emergency services for a short time while the helicopter landed, Sergeant Leonard said.

Police had sent a traffic car to the scene to take an accident report, but the cause of the crash was not yet known.

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