Christchurch residents forced out of their homes as smell wafts over Bromley, Woolston and Linwood


A mysterious stench of rotting fish and human waste is turning Christchurch’s eastern suburbs into New Zealand’s smelliest region.

The vile odour wafting has turned residents into ‘prisoners’ in their own homes and forced others to relocate.

More than 337 complaints from residents have been lodged with environmental authorities since January 2018.

The putrid smell has been wafting over suburbs of Bromley, Woolston and Linwood between the CBD and the beach.  

But no one has been to pinpoint the origin of the odour which has stopped residents from gardening and children from playing in their backyards.  

Resident Catharina van Herwaarden, 73, told Stuff she is sick of her complaints to council being ignored.

She is banding together with frustrated locals to demand action through a petition. 

‘It smells like rotten fish, poo, pee, dead animals and when the rubbish bins have been emptied,’ she said.

‘I feel like a prisoner in my own house.’  

Ms van Herwaarden said the smell had become too much to bare for residents, with many selling up and moving out.

‘My next door neighbour sold a year ago because of the smell and I want to move as well, others I spoke to only bought their house three or four years ago and want to move, but can’t,’ she said.

Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury, which is responsible for odours, said they had received 337 complaints about foul odour since the issue first began in January 2018. 

Christchurch City councillor Yani Johanson, who represents Linwood, told the Daily Mail Australia the complaints were part of a larger issue with environmental protection that has plagued the city for decades. 

He said mapping had highlighted 274 industries known in the area with 55 identified as particularly odorous but little work had been done to change the situation. 

‘Given that we’ve spent so much time doing this investigation it’s strange that we still cant find the source,’ he said. 

‘People are quite fed up with it and I think that is rightly so,’ he said.

Mr Johanson said the current environment laws were weak and allowed industry to get away with damaging practices.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury for comment.            


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