Hawke's Bay Regional Council welcomes the Government initiated independent Inquiry into the Havelock North water contamination issue, which was formally established today.

The Regional Council has written to the Independent Chair, the Honourable Justice Lyn Stevens QC, to offer any assistance to the Inquiry.

Under the Resource Management Act, the Regional Council has responsibility to enforce the observance of its regional plan and ensure that resource consents issued in the region are properly complied with. The Inquiry's Terms of Reference state that the Inquiry is not to determine questions of civil, criminal, or disciplinary liability.

The Regional Council is continuing to investigate the affected water supply bores in accordance with its statutory responsibility. The investigation is being conducted independently, but with the full cooperation of Hastings District Council.

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The Regional Council intends to finish its investigation prior to Christmas and will take a decision at that time as to any necessary further action.