11 Sep 2016

Thousands in grants paid to Havelock North residents

6:37 am on 11 September 2016

Nearly $17,000 of taxpayer money has been paid out to people directly affected by the campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North.

Water running from a tap

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

More than 5000 people - a third of the town - were hit by gastrointestinal illness when Havelock North's drinking water became contaminated a month ago.

Work and Income said almost $17,000 in Civil Defence payments and emergency grants had been paid out to cover food, water, medical bills and loss of income.

Last week it emerged the Hastings District Council had only processed a single application from business owners for financial assistance, despite having a $200,000 pool of government and its own money available.

Business owners have criticised the application process, saying they would need accounting help to apply and it was not worth the effort.

The council would not say which business had made the only application.

Those at immediate risk of going under have until tomorrow to apply for council help.