Testing near Ohakea for water contaminated by firefighting chemicals is to be extended - but not as far as Sanson and Bulls, a New Zealand Defence Force spokesman says.

Groundwater near the Ohakea air base is contaminated by chemicals used to fight fires. Testing on 23 properties showed water used for drinking was affected at five of them.

The results of the testing were released in January, and affected landowners and occupiers were alarmed. Horizons Regional Council and Manawatu Mayor Helen Worboys asked Government to do more.

The councils and Rangitikei District Council met Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway and government officials in Feilding on Friday. Mr Lees-Galloway was standing in for Health Minister David Parker.

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The agencies, including the New Zealand Defence Force, were unified in wanting to ensure the health and wellbeing of the residents.

They must have easy access to consistent information, and the wider public should also be informed, Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon said.

Mr Lees-Galloway was pleased with the co-operation shown at the meeting, and said all the issues were now on the agenda.

Meanwhile the NZ Defence Force is visiting affected people and offering information, drinking water and long term solutions.

Firefighting chemicals once used at Ohakea air base have contaminated groundwater in the area. Photo/ file
Firefighting chemicals once used at Ohakea air base have contaminated groundwater in the area. Photo/ file

It has undertaken to find out the extent of the area is affected. It will be extending testing to more properties, after asking permission from the landowners.

Bulls and Sanson are not at risk, because they are upstream of Ohakea, the spokesman said. The Rangitikei River has been tested, with none of the PFAS chemicals found.

It will be tested again, and testing of groundwater on the west side of the river will take place, at Horizons' request.

The regional council is conducting a formal investigation of the contamination.

The chemicals involved were in foam used to fight fires in flammable liquids. They have not been an ingredient since 2002.