New Zealand Fresh Water Quality Atrociously Poor —agricultural intensity

### ODT Online Thu, 18 August 2016
Inquiry into Havelock North Water
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has confirmed a Government-initiated independent inquiry into the Havelock North water contamination. “To ensure we have a clear understanding of what has happened in Havelock North as well as any learnings from the situation, the Government will launch an independent Inquiry,” Coleman said. “This approach has been agreed between the Government and Hastings District Council as the best way forward.” NZME
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Our piss-pour, cow-scour friend, LGNZ’s Lawrence Yule………

As Havelock North recovers from the largest outbreak of water-borne illness in New Zealand in 30 years, Lisa Owen asks Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule how it happened and if the Council did enough to keep people safe.

Video (part 1):

Video (part 2):


“We [NZ] have the highest level of many of these waterborne gastrointestinal diseases in the OECD.” –Prof Russell Death

### Mon, 22 August 2016
Radio New Zealand National
Checkpoint with John Campbell
Fresh water results worst ecology professor has seen
An ecology professor says council measures of water quality around Hawke’s Bay are lower than any he has seen before in New Zealand. A government-led inquiry launched today will look at how Havelock North’s water supply became contaminated and how the response was handled by local authorities.

An estimated 4100 people have suffered from gastric illness following the contamination of the water supply, and more than 500 have been confirmed as due to campylobacter. Several people were hospitalised, and a coroner is looking at whether the death of an 89-year-old woman, who had contracted campylobacter, was from other underlying causes or was connected to the infection.

In the latest round of tests, Hastings, Flaxmere and Bridge Pa returned clear results meaning the water there continued to be safe to drink. However, while the chlorine-treated water supply in Havelock North had also been cleared, a boil water notice remained there.

Massey University professor Russell Death has studied freshwater in the broader Tukituki-Papanui-Karamu area, which includes Havelock North. He told Checkpoint with John Campbell macroinvertebrate community composition (MCI) values, which measured the general health of the water, were very low in the broader area around Havelock North. “A town water supply in New Zealand is infected by many of the pathogenic organisms that live in our water supplies, it’s not surprising at all – in fact, it’s inevitable,” he said. He said, normally, a very unhealthy river could present MCI values as low as 80, but the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s own measurements had found levels even lower. “The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have done their own sampling around the Karamu catchment, and that’s where they’ve found MCI values down to 60 which, as I said, I didn’t realise MCI values could get that low.” He said students he had sent to the area had come back having seen dead animals on riverbanks and asked not to be sent to sample streams so badly affected again.
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█ Audio : Fresh water results worst ecology professor has seen
Checkpoint ( 6′34″ )

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Agriculture, Business, Corruption, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty

4 responses to “New Zealand Fresh Water Quality Atrociously Poor —agricultural intensity

  1. Gurglars

    One of New Zealand’s problems is that the banks encourage a copycat mentality. At one stage everyone was a sheepfarmer and there were 70 million sheep, now there are 30 million. The right answer may be around 40-50 million.

    In the last twenty years, dairying has become the “mantra”. To any rational observer it is clear that we have and rely on too many dairy farms.

    Another example to consider is the burgeoning number of coffee shops, there are just too many and when the trend for a heart starter coffee wains, many of these intrepid “entrepeneurs” will go to the wall also.

    Another problem to observe is the number of Chinese tourists. The number of vehicle accidents is a symptom of the surfeit.

    In the past university students were encouraged to go into the sciences, Few students were encouraged into the trades. Now we have a lemming like science community looking for a reason to exist. Climate change is their
    ethos and no one can find a plumber or a builder that can build a home that doesn’t leak.
    For budding entrepeneurs and students, might I suggest a counter cyclical philosophy.

    If everyone is heading to the north exit- look south.

    • A

      I agree with your comment about Trades being downgraded as vocational option. This was a legacy of British education models, which were elitist, naturally. Thus in NZ Secs, courses were streamed, with Academic on top, and Trades way down. At least NCEA changed that. Brit systems hindered more than helped.

  2. Elizabeth

    Wed, 24 Aug 2016
    ODT Editorial: Water clarity desirable
    OPINION More than a week after the major gastroenteritis outbreak in Havelock North, authorities still confess to having absolutely no idea how the town’s water supply was contaminated with campylobacter. Hundreds of cases of campylobacteriosis have been confirmed, and it is estimated about 4500 people have become ill. […] The situation – and its scale – is scarcely believable. It is a third-world problem in a country where citizens take for granted a clean, reliable municipal water supply. It also makes further mockery of New Zealand’s ”clean, green, 100% Pure” labels, already tarnished with revelations about the extent of waterways pollution.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Have we lost our immunity? 60 years ago most drinking water came from streams and water races into which animal poo fell, and the occasional animal died – in or on the banks of the water source.
    Therapeutic drugs weren’t highly sophisticated back then. Deaths from “new” diseases were frequent – European germs killed Maori, and new flu strains killed millions world-wide.
    I wonder if we have been super-cleaned till we have lost the background population of many bugs that our systems learned to live with like mildly cranky flatmates.

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