The Friday dump on Havelock North

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, August 20th, 2016 - 68 comments
Categories: farming, health, water - Tags: , , , ,

The Havelock North gastro outbreak is big – Timeline: Havelock North’s water contamination crisis

More than 4000 people in Havelock North have been brought down with gastric illness – New Zealand’s worst-ever waterborne disease outbreak.

The outbreak might also have killed a person, after test results confirmed an elderly woman who died last week had contracted campylobacter.

The most likely cause comes as no surprise – Campylobacter most likely from livestock – Yule

The source of campylobacter found in Havelock North’s water is most likely to be cattle, sheep or deer, according to an interim report into the contamination crisis.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said it was likely the previous weekend’s flooding had swept faeces from livestock into the water supply.

“It’s very hard to explain it in any other way. I’ve been a farmer, I’m an engineer, and it looks likely that somehow that has occurred.”

Naturally this development was the subject of a classic Friday 5pm news dump. A government that has let our water quality deteriorate would rather we didn’t know about the consequences.

This is the first such major event, but it won’t be the last, unless we clean up our water!

68 comments on “The Friday dump on Havelock North ”

  1. save nz 1

    Great post. +100

  2. ropata 2

    That last tweet is unbelievable. Government by inaction and spin.

    Turns out the death *was* caused by the contaminated water
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311361/dead-havelock-north-woman-had-campylobacter

    • weka 2.1

      Thanks for that link. It also has the story of the woman who had a campylobacter infection in July and has ended up with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a long lasting autoimmune disease with multiple serious effects. The woman, Kerry McIntosh, is in hospital and unable to work, and now unable to walk. Despite GBS being rare, the DHB there is now expecting multiple cases from the area. That is serious shit. The council won’t give her the test results either, but they’ve ruled out food poisoning so are thinking it’s likely to be water (she lives right in the currently affected area).

      She set up this FB page for people to network,

      https://www.facebook.com/haveyoursayhawkesbay/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Studies suggest that 1 out of every ~1690 people who get sick from campylobacter will end up with GBS.

        So there’s likely be at least 1 new case, possibly up to 3, from this event.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Ok, thanks. They’re also talking about reactive arthritis (around 10 – 40 potential cases).

    • It’s not a health emergency, it’s a “difficult health situation.”

      Gosh, where have we heard that spin before? I give it a week before they’re talking about their comprehensive water safety plan.

    • Leftie 2.3

      Ropata, the National government are being completely irresponsible and reckless with people’s lives.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Meanwhile, that stalwart fortress of high browed fearless journalism the NZ Herald tells us today of the tragedy of a couple who just lost a son, why bananas are bad for breakfast, an American teenagers letter to bullies, and who Ryan Lochte got on the large with.

    You couldn’t make up such a steaming pile of banal bullshit if you tried.

    • ropata 3.1

      No mention of Havelock North but lots of tat about people shagging on a beach somewhere.

      FFS our ‘national’ newspaper is not even absorbent enough to be useful.

      • dv 3.1.1

        full page on the DomPost print front page.

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        Havelock North is south of the Bombay Hills.
        An Aucklander working for the Herald would probably have to use Google to find it on a map.
        And where did you get the idea that The Herald is our “national newspaper”?

      • mosa 3.1.3

        Ropata its time the” Granny” retired.
        You cant even get your fish and chips wrapped up with it anymore.

      • Philj 3.1.4

        I presume it’s suitable as a fire starter

        • whispering kate 3.1.4.1

          It works great as a liner for the cat litter tray too. I get the the weekend Herald delivered once a week from a neighbour in a supermarket bag solely for me to line the tray. We gave the paper up over 2 years ago and have never missed it – a load of tripe and a waste of money. I got a month’s supply recently as a teaser to get back on subscription but it was like pulling teeth just trying to read it – absolutely have given it up for the rubbish it is.

    • Leftie 3.2

      And don’t forget Sanctuary, how many ties John key has.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    I only knew about the source being identified because I checked RNZ website after 5PM
    I was expecting it to be covered on the TV news, even as an update. But nothing.

    Its been clear from the very first that Yule has been following spin management to the letter. And I wondered when they found results, my guess the answer would be ‘inconclusive’ as they would politically the best result for the spin doctors and council.

    What doesnt make sense is that ‘cattle, sheep and deer’ havent caused this sort of problem before ?

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      The problem is the growth of Havelock North, which is encroaching on the bores, and the growth of intensive farming, neither of which has been properly planned for in the usual, slack arsed NZ way of waiting for a Cave Creek to happen before fixing it. Now whenever it rains heavily it seems run-off full of cow – sorry, “livestock” – shit is contaminating the bores Havelock North draws it’s water from.

      God knows what Hastings District Council spends it’s money on, it is sixty eight million dollars in debt and has higher rates than Napier. Napier has been run (down) by a succession of do-nothing mayors selected by the local wannabes who prefer to keep rates down and preside over the cities decline. Yule has not really been that spectacular a mayor, although he seems to believe his own press releases more and more as time goes by.

      The whole story of Hawkes Bay since it was economically gutted in the 1980s and 90s and lost it’s local media is a case study in the decline of effective governance in the face of economic stagnation and the absence of proper democratic checks and balances like a local media and the rise of a third world social structure with the attendant poor and ignorant electorate and a local ruling class which routinely practices cronyism, nepotism, and nod and wink corruption.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Is there farming intensification in the area of the bores? The pictures I saw were all of vinyards etc, not animals.

        • b waghorn 4.1.1.1

          i’m getting a sneaky feeling that where they say the water comes from (50 year old deep aquifer) and where it’s really coming from might be two different things.

          topping up out of the tuki tuki or some such would be a good way of getting nasties in your water.

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            If they are testing at the tap end, or the reservoir, they will have no idea where the contamination is.

            Do you mean intentionally topping up?

          • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.2

            The ’50 year old water’ would only apply at the deepest parts of the Heretaunga aquifer, maybe 150m +
            So you go nearer the surface the ‘newer’ the water gets, so its only weeks old just below the confined layer.
            These bores are at 20m

            • weka 4.1.1.1.2.1

              How do you know it’s only weeks old?

              Where is that top level water coming from?

              • b waghorn

                In the link I put up for the bottling plant if you click the ‘water’ at the top it has a supposed diagram of the water aquifers.
                I note they are selling the deepest and probably cleanest , while the locals get the leavings.

                • weka

                  This one?

                  http://www.nzmiracle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/water_image2.jpg

                  This one from the HDC seems to imply that the town supply is coming from the second aquifer. Nobody has explained how that could get contaminated (or if it even is, can they even test from the bottom of the bore?).

                  http://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/files/all/property/water/Aquifer.jpg

                  And this is the council’s description of the water supply,

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11693935

                  Still a lot of information not being provided by the MSM. If flooding (and effluent) is a possible source, how would it get into the bore? or the aquifer? etc.

                  Someone said this the other day,

                  It would be unusual for a town’s bore to be contaminated but there is the possibility of contamination from a connection to the town’s water which is not protected by a Backflow Preventor. There was the case of Darfield’s water being contaminated but I do not know what the source was.
                  There is also the possiblity of the aquifer being contaminated by a irrigation set up spreading effluent and is also connected to the same aquifer and not having a proper Backflow Preventor at the head of the bore the effluent can flow into the bore. Ecan has allowed the installation of a Backflow Preventor that does no comply with NZ regulations but that is another story.

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/shit-in-the-water/#comment-1219173

                  • Mad Plumber

                    In addition to my initial comments on Backflow Prevention, from the Picture’s of the Council Bore heads there does not seem to be any Back Flow Device.
                    The other possible source of contamination could be a decommissioned bore that the Regional Council know nothing about.
                    The other source could be a farm effluent pond that is leaking. Again hard to find especially if it is a clay lined pond. Most of the newer ponds are plastic lined.
                    The District council are taking all the flak at the moment but the Regional Council could also be to blame especially as the contamination seems to be from livestock. They are the ones that usually make the rules about ponds, bores and effluent disposal.

              • Lloyd

                If it is traveling 300m per day, it was probably in the Tukituki River four days earlier.

                • weka

                  Is that river connected to that aquifer?

                  • Many aquifers are. Many.

                    • weka

                      Some aren’t I think. If it was as simple as a polluted river contaminating an aquifer, wouldn’t that be more obvious?

                      See http://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/files/all/property/water/Aquifer.jpg

                      http://www.nzmiracle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/water_image2.jpg

                      That appears to be saying that the rivers are not connected to the second or third aquifers (town supply is the second one down, commercial bottled water is the third one down).

                      Also, the report from the last contamination suggested that a possible source was the earth works done nearby having disrupted the impervious layer (they were speculating).

                      Which doesn’t mean teh rivers aren’t the source, but I’d like to see an explanation of how that could happen given the known geology. They chose that source for a reason.

                      (and needless to say, we should stop polluting the rivers anyway, because they will be affecting their own aquifer in addition to the river ecology).

                      It does beg the question of where the aquifers are being recharged from though.

      • weston 4.1.2

        what have the respective rates got to do with it then sanctuary ?Youre saying napier is badly run because it has low rates and presumedly less debt but hastings has got high rates and enormous debt which particular point are you driving at ?

    • weka 4.2

      “What doesnt make sense is that ‘cattle, sheep and deer’ havent caused this sort of problem before ?”

      The woman in the video in the link above got sick in July, same area. She can’t get the council’s water test results from when she was first ill. I’m guessing she was the first.

      AFAIK they still don’t know how the contamination got in. Not sure if they even know where it’s happening. Is it in the aquifer? Or in the bore? (when the MSM say ‘bore’ I hope they mean the infrastructure and not the aquifer, but it’s hard to tell). How does that work? Someone commented yesterday that it is possible for contaminants to go down the bore and then be taken back up with the water supply.

    • jcuknz 4.3

      It was animals plus a flood …..I heard John Campbell i/v a Mushroom farmer who had a copy of the report that was not [apparently ] released to radio [RNZ]

  5. Siobhan 5

    Craig Foss is the National Party MP for Tukituki, Hawke’s Bay, and is seen as being very much ‘their man’ by the large proportion of Havelock North residents.

    He is also very much a proponent of the Ruataniwha Dam, which is on the shitty, stinky (in summer anyway) Tukituki river behind Havelock North.

    Apart from increased water usage the dam will involve massive intensification of all the activities that relate to this outbreak ie intensive farming.

    This is an important issue during the last election. This and Nationals policies to water management.

    He was elected bringing these policies to the table.

    I am so looking forward to the next election to see how this plays out. It is a perfect example to bring up in the old argument we have at home..
    “Why DO people Vote against their own best interests??”

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      I remember swimming in the Tukituki river when I was a kid. 🙁

      • b waghorn 5.1.1

        I was at the tuki tuki 6 years ago at Patangata it was crystal clear and brimming with trout. Don’t know if it still is.

    • nom 5.2

      I look forward to the spin this to frame the the dam as a ‘positive’ – backup drinking water supply?

      • Siobhan 5.2.1

        Yes, I had thought of that too, infact I think they had earlier(pre this crisis) mentioned the dam being used like a toilet flush for toxins in the river. Maybe they could instal a giant Glade Toilet Cleaning Perfume thingy(with Blue colouring) just to make the whole situation perfect.

        • te reo putake 5.2.1.1

          Heh! It could be Hasting’s equivalent to the L&P bottle or Ohakune’s giant carrot. I can just see tourists flocking to take selfies before their latte’s come back up on them.

          I can also see another business opportunity. Hawkes Bay could be marketed as the weight loss capital of NZ. Just one glass of Waipuk water and you’ll shit yourself thin. Everyone’s a winner!

          • gsays 5.2.1.1.1

            i heard a rumour havelock north is using feilding’s redundant tourism slogan-

            ‘would it kill you to visit?’

  6. ropata 6

    People vote in the short term interest of their wallets, not thinking of *potential* risks like shit in the water supply

    Guess who opposed protecting the Cooks Beach aquifer bores from penetration from septic tanks, and the beach water too? Yes, ratepayers.— Alasdair Thompson (@ajthompson13) August 19, 2016

  7. dv 7

    Ultra Violet treatment of water for individual houses appears to becoming viable- Seem to be about 2-3k per installation.

  8. HDC and Health Care HB will have us all drinking our own shit for ever more and a day know the water supply has been clorinated.

    They are incapable of doing anything else but push paper around and talk and have more talks anything but action.

    They will increase rate rates so we can all pay for our own compensation and pay for the inquiries into what is not any mistry at all, shit is in the water how is that a mistry?

    Shit has been in all our rivers and streams and dams for generations only a fool would think it was a mistry to find it in our water supply?

    • ropata 8.1

      the word is “mystery”

      and no, we have never seen this level of disgusting effluent in our water before. tragedy of the commons, irresponsible farming, and lax governance at all levels.

  9. dv 9

    Herald reporting 50 mins ago.

    An interim scientific analysis indicates contamination from cattle, sheep and deer may have been present in Havelock North’s water supply, which in normal times is not disinfected with chlorine.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11697827

  10. Keith 10

    Listening to Foss on the news speaking in parliament I smelt a dirty big rat. He was spouting bullshit about community team spirit and everyone pulling together, wa, wa, waa. Then the Nats, full well knowing this is going to be caused by agricultural run off, launch one of their damage control enquiries, one assumes in an educated guess, is to bury the truth. All round their reaction is becoming all too familiar.

    What must happen is a fully independent fact finding enquiry, not a Nat whitewash.

  11. mosa 11

    Its only political considerations that they are having an enquiry.
    This issue is not going away but they ” dont do fully independent fact finding” its not in the dna.
    They will be assessing the damage and its all spin from there or Key has had a blow to the head and has a rapid conversion to all of a sudden having enquiries when he has always resisted on all the other issues that proper process would have demanded one.
    As usual there is more to this than meets the eye, lets hope it gets sorted.

  12. Rae 12

    Breaking news, Hastings and Flaxmere water contaminated.

  13. righty right 13

    the government has done nothing to clean up the water system its not good enough they have had 8.5 years bulling and threatening academics head in the sand isn’t leadership its the mark of a coward and thats is all key is.

  14. dave 14

    its right wing voters who bullshited all over the place pricks like BM and infused in a chorus of national party bullshit have caused this contamination key should meet an equally turdy end to his disastrous reign as prime shiter.

    • mosa 15.1

      GOD that mans face is everywhere , it should be put too good use like a cure for constipation.

  15. Ad 16

    Both the Hastings Mayor and the Hastings Council Chief Executive are reporting that they still have no idea what the cause is.

    They’ve failed to prevent it, failed to front for it to the sick, failed to find the cause.

    Thankfully the local hospital is saying that the worst is over in terms of patients.

    Since it’s clearly beyond Council’s power to solve it, central government should appoint a Commissioner over the Council.

    This next year looks like being the longest year in National’s political life for many, many years.

  16. Neil 17

    Maybe intensive dairying etc., has something to do with it?, surely not because John says so

  17. Philj 18

    The media information released has been confusing and at odds with itself. One day we are told that the number afflicted had peaked, next day we are told that it is greater than the day before. One day we told the water tanker is contaminated the next day we told that the water tanker wasn’t contaminated. Clearly, this is a toxic situation that the ‘authorities’, local and National, have failed in their duty Do you believe in anything that we are being told? As awful as the situation is, especially for the afflicted, the official response has been even worse. No wonder the publics trust in our politicians and democratic processes is rapidly diminishing.

  18. righty right 19

    are the farmers going to be made to pay clean up the mess they have created(fat chance) or is it gen x and y who cant even afford a home going to be made to pay while dairy farmers get off free take the profit and dump costs on to the community farmers created this bloody mess they should clean it up. national are going to lie bullshit cover up do nothing. if the tourist stop coming the newly unemployed should nail the dairy industry to the wall. the dairy industry is playing loose and fast with our health economy and ultimately our lives and that isn’t fare they have to be made to pay!these bastards don’t even pay tax and tax payers are subsidizing intensification while these farming wankers wreak our environment

  19. Observer Tokoroa 20

    .
    . Just in case you don’t know who is running our Parliament, it is:
    .
    The Maori Party, United First Party, The Act Party, The National Party.
    .
    . Not a single one of them is competent. They work on the twin basis of “Spin” and Loading up the very wealthy with more assets and more “Wealth”.

    .

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