The report of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry, Stage 2, has many people in the area agreeing with the recommendations.

Te Mata Mushrooms owner Michael Whittaker believed we didn't have "any choice at this point" in regard to treating the water.

"Councils and district health boards are really stuck in the middle.

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"There's a perceived and genuine right to have clean and fresh drinking water, and then there is a health issue of making sure that water is treated and safe to drink and there is no tolerance for any missteps."

He believed in "the perfect world", everyone would like untreated water, yet "the reality of today is the water does need to be treated because there is no margin of error if anything does go wrong".

"We have to be pragmatic about it and work towards a point where maybe we can get our waterways clean enough that we can again have untreated water."

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Jessica Soutar Barron, author of an online petition demanding unchlorinated water, did not wish to comment on the matter.

The petition, which was presented to the Hastings District Council, was signed by about 1600 people calling for council to stop chlorinating the water beyond the end of November.

Havelock North's Business Association president, Milton Naylor, was adamant the risks were too high with untreated water.

"For a government body water supply, the primary responsibility is to always ensure the safety for the public and the risks are way too high of just doing nothing.

"For the public to have untreated drinking water, I just think it is unrealistic."

Naylor couldn't see it being untreated in the future, because it had become a "nationwide" responsibility.

"I can't see any government body sticking their head out and being different."

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