Thames was founded on the pursuit of gold, and where there's gold there's elevated levels of naturally occurring arsenic and lead.

In 2011 and 2012 the soil at Moanataiari was tested for contamination. At its meeting on 3 April 2013, the Council decided not to undertake physical remediation at the Moanataiari subdivision because of the very low risk to human health.

The Council has decided to: "Support the provision of advice by health agencies and provide property information and other information".

Click on the link below to read more about the health advice.

In this section


Project Summary

Find out more about the history of the project and the outcomes by clicking on the "related links" on the right-hand side of this web page. 

Alternatively, download this summary facts sheet to find out more about the project. 

Latest News 

The Moanataiari project came to an end in April 2013. You can read through the various media releases and emails to residents by clicking here (then click on the Moanataiari news category) to gain a better understanding of the project as it progressed.

Read the correspondence between various agencies here.


Project Background

In October and November 2011, the Waikato Regional Council conducted soil tests at the Moanataiari subdivision in Thames.

The testing occurred because of the subdivisions known history as reclaimed land using burden and unprocessed tailings from local mines in the early to mid-twentieth Century as well as local rock from surrounding hills.

The results from the tests indicate that there are elevated levels of naturally occurring arsenic and lead in the soil and sub straights. The arsenic is not an introduced chemical in the mining process, but a naturally occurring trace element often found alongside other minerals and elements like gold.

Find out more about the project here (Stages 1 - 3) and (Stages 4 - 5).