Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Programme to analyse Havelock North’s water gastro outbreak

18 September 2017

Programme to analyse Havelock North’s record water gastro outbreak

A new programme will carry out an in-depth analysis of the unprecedented water supply outbreak in Havelock North last August where more than 5000 people were infected with the bacteria Campylobacter.

Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) Chief Executive Professor Kath McPherson announced today that it was investing $437,949 for the research programme – a special funding allocation awarded due to the significance of New Zealand’s largest water supply contamination event. This research would provide the opportunity for health officials, local authorities and communities at large to be better prepared.

“Thankfully public health crises like this are rare, but when we do have one it’s important that we take the opportunity to learn as much as we can from it so that it doesn’t happen again, or at the very least that we can respond much quicker to greatly lessen the impact on our people’s health,” said Professor McPherson.

Professor McPherson said this programme of research will bring together experts from across the health and academic sectors to support the region. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nicholas Jones, would lead the programme along with Professor Michael Baker from the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health in Wellington. Lead investigators include Dr Brent Gilpin, Dr Jillian Sherwood, Dr Claire Newbern and Dr Mehnaz Adnan from ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research); Dr Tiffany Walker, Dr Colin Hutchinson and Dr Tim Frendin from Hawke’s Bay District Health Board; and Dr Jonathan Marshall from Massey University. Dr Anita Jagroop-Dearing from Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) will manage the research.

The programme is made up of six separate studies, each covering different aspects of the Campylobacter outbreak. These include a detailed assessment of the outbreak and the public health sector’s response to it; an investigation into the longer-term health impacts of the outbreak; and an exploration of non-traditional early warning detection tools that could have potentially helped public health professionals identify the outbreak sooner.

Dr Jones said that despite Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and local councils having already gathered extensive data on human illness, exposure and risk factors, and drinking water and environmental sources of Campylobacter, there was a unique opportunity for further analysis to gain maximum benefit of the data collected.

“This outbreak is the largest recognised Campylobacter outbreak to date in New Zealand,” said Dr Jones.

“Thanks to the HRC’s funding, we’ll be able to delve further into the detail to gain insights into the health impacts of a gastroenteritis outbreak of this scale, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of public health interventions and messaging.”

“All New Zealand communities will benefit from the programme’s findings. The results will also be of international interest as documented water supply outbreaks of this size are unusual,” he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels