In the 1920s Waiwhetū stream north of Wellington was popular for swimming and fishing, but as development took place around its banks it began to deteriorate. At times the stream would turn bright purple or red as industrial wastes from Lower Hutt factories were discharged into its waters. The wastes were then carried out to the Hutt estuary on the northern shores of Wellington Harbour. By the mid-1970s, when this photo was taken, it was one of the most polluted streams in New Zealand.
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