23 Feb 2017

Council defers decision on water crisis compensation fund

4:03 pm on 23 February 2017

A decision on a support fund for people whose health is still being affected by the Havelock North water poisoning has been deferred by the Hastings District Council.

Drinking water stations have been set up around Havelock North.

Drinking water stations were set up around Havelock North during the crisis. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

More than 5000 people fell seriously ill with campylobacter in August last year when the town's drinking water supply was contaminated.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board said there was anecdotal evidence large numbers of elderly were still suffering after-effects.

A paper presented to a district council meeting today included a proposal to establish a $100,000 fund to financially assist people with ongoing health effects.

Councillors all expressed empathy for those suffering, but the majority wanted more information before committing funds.

The motion was rejected 8-6 in favour of an amended motion, where the council would work with appropriate agencies to determine the extent of continuing illness and what financial help was required as a result.

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