24 Feb 2017

Govt rules out law change for gastro outbreak claims

1:56 pm on 24 February 2017

The government has ruled out a law change to allow victims of the Havelock North water contamination to make a claim to the Accident Compensation Corporation.

22082016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Water was contimated in Havelock North. Camplylobacter was found in the water supply.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

More than 5000 people fell ill last winter when campylobacter contaminated the town's drinking water supply. At least three contracted a serious nervous system disorder.

ACC said it received one or two claims over the outbreak and declined them.

It said inhaling or ingesting a virus or bacteria was not considered an accident, unless it was the result of a criminal act.

Lawyer Phil Schmidt said there was a glaring hole in ACC law, preventing help for those with ongoing health problems.

The office of Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said he was not considering a law change.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs