District health board welcomes Inquiry Stage 2 report

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board welcomed Stage Two Report of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry released today.

Chief executive Kevin Snee said he believed the Inquiry Panel had done a thorough job that addressed many of the issues which prevented New Zealanders from being able to have complete confidence in their drinking water.

Dr Snee said the district health board had only received the Stage 2 report today and would now take the time to fully digest the findings and its wider implications.

“There has been a considerable amount of work undertaken since the outbreak that has seen closer working relationships developed between local authorities and the district health board  with the establishment of the Joint Working Group, which has encouraged and changed the way Drinking Water Assessors operate.

“Following the outbreak the district health board wrote to the Director General of Health expressing the view that there should be clearer accountability of DWAs. We are pleased to see the findings in the Stage 2 Inquiry report support this view,” Dr Snee said.

“Since the outbreak there had continued to be reports of E.coli in water supplies throughout Hawke’s Bay. This continuously puts at risk the health of those communities. Therefore I was heartened to see the recommendation that - CEOs of DHBs (with Public health responsibilities) should advise drinking water suppliers that all supplies should be effectively treated pending any change to the law…”

Dr Snee said the Inquiry panel had provided a thought provoking and detailed report which he and his Public Health teams would be reviewing thoroughly.

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