Gastro inquiry: Havelock North authorities failed to keep public safe

Pierre Vaugeois
Mai 16, 2017

Hastings District Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Council and drinking water authorities all failed to adhere to the high standards of care and diligence necessary to protect public health, the Government inquiry into the Havelock North gastro outbreak has found.

More than 5000 people got sick - many are still suffering - and 45 ended up in hospital during the gastro bug outbreak in August past year.

Water in Havelock North and Hastings will be chlorinated for at least another year.

During the first day of the inquiry, Hastings District Council water services manager Brett Chapman told the court "we now have a far greater understanding of what's in the immediate area that could pose risks".

Sheep faeces were the likely source of the campylobacter according to the report, which either entered the aquifer from a nearby pond or washed over the boreheads following heavy rainfall.

However, he added: "The inquiry has found that none of the faults directly caused the outbreak however, had all or any of these not occurred a different outcome may have resulted".

"The council has pretty much got off scot-free, both councils have".

"She got a thing called slapped cheek at the end of last term, which for most kids you would just carry on, go to school, it's not a major, but for her, she was in bed for 10 days, miserable, and I'm sure that wouldn't have been the case had she not already been compromised by the campylobacter".

"Hopefully other councils in the country can learn from it, because I wouldn't anyone to have to go through what myself and other people have had to go through".

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