People in the community are rallying around those who are sick with many offers of free, clean water.

A large tanker of fresh water was sitting outside Te Mata Four Square yesterday while The Hits and Simply Squeezed gave away 400 bottles of juice in five minutes.

Store owner Jayesh Uka said he did not like seeing people pay for water, especially with the current situation at hand.

"People are struggling so it was nothing for us to offer free and fresh water that anyone could help themselves to."


Mr Uka was hoping to keep the tanker for a few more days.

"Four Square is a community brand so we just want to give back at a time when people need us most."

Hastings District Council has stationed five tankers with free drinking water at Te Mata Primary School, Lucknow Primary School, Havelock North High School, Havelock North Primary School and the New World Havelock North car park.

Burke contractors also put a tanker on Te Mata Rd.

At the domain yesterday, people turned out to grab a free Simply Squeezed juice.

Breakfast presenter Martin Good said they had wanted to do something for the community, with people still struck down by the gastro bug.

"We were chatting in the studio after our show and Simply Squeezed jumped on board so we went with that," he said.

Many people used the opportunity to take juice back to their sick loved ones.

Resident Holly Porteous said she had come to get the juice for her grandchildren and daughter who were still not able to leave the house.

She had lived in Hawke's Bay for 25 years and had never experienced anything like it before. "It is a pretty scary thing to happen, you just would not expect it."

Gaye Carrington also took juice home to her sick children, who had been off school since Wednesday.

"My natural instinct was to keep giving them water, not knowing that was the sole cause of the problem," she said.