Spring is springing, and so is the pollen

  • Published Date 09 Aug 2018

It's that time of year again. Reports are already coming into Greater Wellington Regional Council of signs of yellow powder or paint residue accumulating in the harbour, lining streams and puddles and coating people's cars. All of which are deposits of pollen and signs that spring is on its way and hay fever season is about to start.

The yellow sludge found on water surfaces or lining shores are also signs that pollen is being spread by wind. Wind pollination is used by many plants in New Zealand including pines and most grasses, both of which routinely trigger hay fever. They produce enormous quantities of light, dry pollen grains that are carried on Wellington's boisterous spring winds.

Only a small amount of this pollen hits the spot on plants. The majority goes to waste and this is what can be seen forming clumps and foamy slime around water or the fine yellow dust you might be seeing on your clean car or laundry. It can be alarming but it's perfectly normal.

People mistakenly think pollen deposits are pollution and report them to Greater Wellington's Pollution Hotline, which shows people care about their environment and have a sharp eye for pollution. Greater Wellington wants to hear from people when they think there might be a pollution problem, even when that turns out not to be the case.

If people suspect pollution they should call Greater Wellington Regional Council's Hotline on 0800 496 734. It's a confidential 24-hour service. Contact details will be requested so that staff can gather more information if needed.



Updated April 28, 2022 at 11:52 AM

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0800 496 734