EDITORIAL: Contaminated water inquiry must find answers for the whole community

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Most people are back at school and work but the water crisis is still fresh in their minds. You just have to turn the tap on and smell the chlorinated water to be reminded. Photo/File
Most people are back at school and work but the water crisis is still fresh in their minds. You just have to turn the tap on and smell the chlorinated water to be reminded. Photo/File

Work will begin this week investigating how more than 5000 people got sick from contaminated water.

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson revealed further details about the Government inquiry yesterday.

It is one of two investigations into the gastro outbreak with the regional council conducting its own.

The outcomes of these will be widely anticipated - however people will have to wait until March next year until the Government inquiry reports back.

The Government inquiry will be headed by retired Court of Appeal judge, the Honourable Lyn Stevens QC. He is joined by NZQA CEO and former Director-General of Health, Dr Karen Poutasi CNZM, and local government and engineering expert, Anthony Wilson.

Their titles coupled with the letters after their names indicated they have a wealth of experience between them.

It will look into the cause of the outbreak and whether any person or organisation was at fault, how drinking water is managed and any changes needed to how we monitor drinking water.

Most people are back at school and work but it's still fresh in their mind. You just have to turn the tap on and smell the chlorinated water.

However the effects of the outbreak are ongoing for some.

One person was admitted to hospital last week with Guillain-Barrē Syndrome - a rare yet serious condition where the immune system attacks the nerves.

The muscles are weakened and can lead to paralysis.

This patient had suffered diarrhoea symptoms during last month's gastro outbreak.

Doctors are urging those who experience pins and needles, weakness or clumsiness of hands or feet should seek medical help quickly.

Answers are needed into how this happened, not just for this patient but for the whole community.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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