The Public Health Association, Health Promotion Forum and New
Zealand College of Public Health Medicine express their moral
support for health protection officers and public health officials
in Hawke's Bay during which they say must be a difficult and trying
"Whenever there's a disease outbreak or public health disaster
of the magnitude of the water problem in Havelock North, you can be
sure public health officials are feeling the burden immensely,"
says Public Health Association Chief Executive Warren Lindberg.
"While politicians and senior officials have a responsibility to
identify the cause and prevent it from happening again, we know
both Council staff and DHB public health staff are working
diligently around the clock to find the cause of the infection, to
keep tabs on the spread of illness, and to ensure local communities
are informed about what they need do to avoid getting sick."
Health Promotion Forum Chair Ana Apatu, who lives in Hawke's
Bay, said often the public were unaware of the vital role
population health teams play, but that it was times like these that
the work they're paid to do comes to the fore.
"This is not a time to be casting blame around. The health and
wellbeing of the population is a crucial goal that sits well above
the hurly burly of politics. If things have gone wrong then a top
priority needs to be ensuring there are sufficient resources
allocated so DHBs and local authorities can work together and have
the capacity to ensure something like this never happens
New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine General Manager
Jane Dancer said this was a time when we need to acknowledge the
skill and dedication of the public health teams dealing with the
"It is an intense and stressful time as they work to reduce the
impact of the campylobacter contamination, and we should be
thanking them for the vital work they are doing."