Visiting Christchurch? Don’t Drink the Water. No Seriously. It’s Untreated and There’s No Accountability
19 August, 2016
New Zealand’s claim to be a first world country took a severe battering with the mass outbreak of Campylobacter from Havelock North’s untreated water supply. Up to 4,100 people are believed to have been affected and at least one person has died as a result, two others are in emergency are.
Over 4100 people have now been affected by Havelock Nth gastro outbreak. 106 confirmed cases of campylobacter. 15 in hospital, 2 in ICU.
Not treating Christchurch drinking water potentially saved “billions of dollars” but one lobbyist said if councillors were personally liable for the consequences they would not take the risk.
The council tests water daily for E coli, but it took 24 hours to get results. A total of 5487 samples were tested for E coli over the 2015 to 2016 reporting year…Currently only Akaroa, Takamatua, Duvauchelle and Little River have a chlorinated water supply in Christchurch. source
“The issue that happened in Havelock North could easily happen in Canterbury. It has happened in Darfield.” He said it was up to communities to decide whether their water was chlorinated, but they should bear in mind the greater risk they exposed themselves to.
Pfahlert said an organisation with a personally-liable board of directors would “never take that risk“. “Because councillors are not personally liable for those consequences, we get a bunch of different outcomes around the country.” He recommended central government consider whether water chlorination should be mandatory.
“Even if we decide to do nothing, we will have looked under the hood.”