The discharge of contaminants from contaminated land can cause the following adverse effects:
- acute toxic effects on human health through ingestion of contaminated material or inhalation of volatile chemicals and particulate matter
- bioaccumulation of contaminants in flora, fauna and humans, causing chronic health effects
- degradation of water quality and aquatic ecosystems
- objectionable levels of odour
- adverse effects on the relationship that tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their taonga such as ancestral lands, water and waahi tapu.