The son of an elderly woman who died shortly after contracting campylobactor during the Havelock North gastro crisis says she had a "good innings" despite her death.

Jean Sparksman, 89, was one of three elderly people whose deaths were linked to the outbreak and had been living in the Mary Doyle retirement village at the time of the crisis.

Speaking from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in Auckland yesterday, Ms Sparksman's son, Keith, said her death shouldn't have happened the way it did.

"She contracted this bug but there were no steps taken to help. That's probably why she died in the first place."


Ms Sparksman had only recently sold her home in Hastings and moved to the retirement village when the gastro crisis struck.

Mr Sparksman said he would have expected elderly care facilities and councils to be "on high alert", particularly for those more suspectible to ill health such as the elderly, if a health crisis arose.

"Really in lots of ways she was under the care of Mary Doyle in Havelock North,

"It would have been imperative for the council once they knew to contact people immediately."

Test results confirmed Ms Sparksman had contracted campylobacter but a post-mortem examination revealed she also had other significant underlying health issues. She died on August 13.

Mr Sparksman described campylobacter as the "catalyst" for her death- adding that while she did have underlying health issues the bug was one of the factors that "compiled" to end in her death.

Aside from hearing a pre-announcement of the inquiry result on the radio yesterday morning he said he hadn't paid much attention to the proceedings.

"We can't change what's happened. She had a pretty good innings anyway. It's just a shame,

"Life goes on and you can't really change that but it would be nice to say that this won't happen again."

When asked if he would pursue any legal advancement he said he didn't see any point.

"I've been down the legal path and all it does is feed lawyers and if there is a settlement it's often small."

Yesterday Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said he intended to meet with the families of the three people who died and go through the first stage of the report with them.