27 Oct 2016

Havelock North water contamination inquiry under way

6:51 pm on 27 October 2016

The government inquiry into the Havelock North drinking-water contamination held its first hearing at the Hastings District Court this morning.

More than 5000 people became seriously ill in August after contracting camplyobacter from drinking the town water supply.

The cause of the contamination has not yet been determined.

The hearing today focussed on procedural matters, and appearances from parties interested in making submissions.

Substantive issues will be dealt with at a later date.

A lawyer appointed by the Solicitor-General to the inquiry, Nathan Gedye, said questions of civil or criminal liability would not be considered.

The inquiry is focussing on how the Havelock North water supply system became contaminated, how this was subsequently addressed, and how local and central government agencies responded.

It will also look at how to reduce the risk of outbreaks of this nature recurring.

The inquiry is due to report at the end of March next year.

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