Financial assistance on the way for Havelock North

By Aroha Treacher

Financial assistance is on the way for businesses suffering losses after the gastro outbreak in Havelock North - a disaster that has affected more than 4000 people with a nasty stomach bug.

It's been a tough week for locals and businesses in Havelock North.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman says the Ministry of Social has announced that emergency assistance payments will be available to those who have found their employment affected during this whole episode.

The Hastings District Council will also give a $10,000 donation to the local business association.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule says, “We know that proving the cause of this might take some months, so we're saying actually we need to do something now this is where the loss is being suffered.”

However an estimated 4000 people have suffered the gastro bug after the town’s water supply was contaminated.

An 89-year-old woman also died, with test results confirming she had contracted campylobacter but that she had other significant health issues.

Coleman says, “We've got to make sure this never happens again so that will be covered fully into the inquiry and it's very important that people have confidence in the drinking water.”

The government inquiry will examine events surrounding the outbreak and the response, while tests are undertaken to determine the cause.