A week after the gastro outbreak which affected 4000 Havelock North residents, community support is returning life to their village.

Although "businesses have taken a hard knock" because of the virus, Havelock North business owner Liv Reynolds said things had begun to improve.

The Wright and Co director said the cafe had been quieter than usual over the weekend, but there was a "considerable increase" in numbers of customers compared with last week.

The patrons of the Joll Rd cafe were not only locals - a number had travelled into Havelock North to shop, grab a bite to eat, or drink.


"It's excellent, people are making the effort to come in and support the village," she said.

Mrs Reynolds, who also owns Mamacita restaurant and Hugo Chang, said there had been more of a presence of businesses, and people in the village over the weekend.

Businesses were also trying to create incentives to attract more customers - Wright and Co had offered a free glass of wine or beer on Friday night, and free "belly friendly concoctions" were available at Hugo Chang.

Mrs Reynolds said, "through this hardship a lot of businesses have tried to remain open and be there for the community, so it would nice if people can return the favour and come into the village".

"I think in dire situations it can often bring out the best in people," she said.

"If nothing else, the community is stronger for this."

The community spirit was present last week, when residents nominated others affected by the virus to receive a free meal from Wright and Co.

With a "fully stocked cabinet" and no customers, staff spent Tuesday preparing meals and delivering them to 56 households, feeding around 200 residents.

Extra supermarket trips were made, as "the cabinet was emptied in an hour, but because of the response we had on social media we thought 'we can't just stop'."