The National Enviroment Service (NES) has confirmed the ‘sewerage-like’ smell in Avana near the Ngatangiia Cook Islands Christian Church is not new and happens every year.
Advisory and compliance division manager Vavia Tangatataia said it was due to the accumulation of seaweed caught at both the stream and creek outlet at the Ngatangiia church, and there was no water to flush out these weeds.
“The weeds then stayed with water becoming stagnant giving out the sewerage smell,” said Tangatataia.
“And the accumulation of sand at both outlets is not helping the process.
NES staff have been to the site a few times and the only way to remove the odour is to clear the blockages.
Tangatataia said MP for Ngatangiia Tama Tuavera should be made aware of the problem.
Tuavera told CI News he had received no complaints about the smell, but confirmed it was seasonal and happened every year.
The smell was no worse than any other year, he said.