31 Jan 2017

Council failed to comply with water laws - inquiry

8:15 pm on 31 January 2017

The head of the inquiry into Havelock North's drinking water contamination has criticised the Hastings District Council for failing to comply with drinking water laws.

 Stevens QC

Inquiry chair Lyn Stevens QC Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

The government inquiry is looking at how the town's water supply was contaminated, poisoning more than 5000 people with campylobacter in August.

During today's hearings, Hastings District Council water supply manager Dylan Stuijt admitted the council was slack in not complying with demands from drinking water assessors.

Inquiry chair Lyn Stevens QC told Mr Stuijt he found that troubling.

"When it comes to recording inspections and recording checks, that's just simple stuff, and it wasn't done. And it seems it wasn't done until the events that we are inquiring into, two years after this letter came to you."

Mr Stevens said these were matters of publicly safety and compliance with the law, and they were ignored.

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