Hastings to supply Havelock North's water Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Source: Radio New Zealand, 24 August 2016

Hastings will supply Havelock North's water for the foreseeable future, the Hastings District Council says.

The government has ordered an inquiry after an estimated 4100 people in Havelock North were hit by gastric illness, which in about 550 cases has been confirmed as campylobacter.

Seven people remain in hospital.

A connection will be opened between the two town supplies in the coming days to ensure any contaminated water cannot get into the Hastings pipes.

The move will allow the contaminated Brookvale bores to be turned off.

The details of the work will be part of a plan submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval, and the boil water notice in Havelock North will be lifted once the transition is complete.

Businesses out of pocket

Havelock North businesses say they are tens of thousands of dollars down due to the gastro outbreak.

Liv Reynolds is part of a company that owns three restaurants, the Joll Rd Cafe, Mamacita and Hugo Chang, and employs nearly 50 staff.

She told Checkpoint with John Campbell during the worst of the outbreak they were losing about $8000 a day.

"It's been rough, I'm not going to lie.

"We are adamant we will do whatever to make sure our staff get paid what they are entitled to and beyond that"

Ms Reynolds said they closed the restaurants because the did not have enough manpower, but also because they did not get enough information from the council that it was safe to stay open.

"What grinds us more than anything is we've got our rates payment [due].

"We just need to know at some point there is going to be serious consideration into whether businesses get compensation and how they get compensation.

"Our insurance companies have all come back saying this is deemed a contagious disease and you won't be getting anything from us, so it has to go to a government level in order for us at least to some assurance that compensation may be on the horizon."

Work and Income to provide assistance

Work and Income is making special assistance available to those who have lost money as a result of the gastroenteritis outbreak, and is asking people to contact them.

The support is not limited to those people on a benefit and includes help with living expenses, and urgent or unexpected costs.

Work and Income's East Coast social development commissioner, Annie Aranui, said a loss of income payment is not means tested and does not need to be repaid.

Ms Aranui said it applies to those not able to work due to sickness, having to look after family members, or because their workplace is shut.

People should call 0800-559-009 or check Work and Income's website to find out whether they are eligible.

And earlier, Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said the government would be making an announcement tomorrow about a welfare package but this is incorrect.