Five schools in Havelock North will be closing, due to the gastro illness sweeping through the area.

There are now at least eight schools closed this week.

Following an emergency meeting this morning with the Ministry of Education and the Principals and Board Chairs of three schools - Te Mata School, Lucknow School and Havelock North Intermediate - made the collective decision to close for two days.

Havelock North Primary and Havelock North High School will also close for Tuesday and Wednesday.


There had been an increase in scale, and escalation of symptomatic students and staff with all schools having close to 50 per cent of their children sick and significant staff numbers ill.

These numbers continue to increase as children and staff present with symptoms.

The schools have said they will be reassessing this decision on Wednesday afternoon and asked that parents and caregivers check the school's website and social media to be informed of the situation for the remainder of the week.

Despite initially hoping to stay open, Hereworth School will also be closed until Thursday.

Last night headmaster Steve Fiet said that on Friday there had been 72 students ill - a third of their roll - with gastro illness, or vomiting and diarrhoea.

Three staff were also affected.

A statement from the school said they had been advised by the Ministry that due to the continued risk of the campylobacter outbreak the school should not remain open.

Yesterday the all-girls Iona College and Woodford House closed, with plans to reopen on Tuesday evening for boarding students, and Wednesday for day students.

Woodford House have re-assessed its situation as part of its crisis management.

As a result, the Boards have decided to extend the number of closure days to include Wednesday 17 August.

Principal Julie Peterson said the Boards' responsibility was to ensure the school is sufficiently resourced for teaching and learning.

"With many of our staff affected by the health issue, we are unable to meet that requirement," Mrs Peterson said.

About 96 girls and 10 staff at Woodford House have been affected by the campylobacter outbreak.

Woodford House first experienced health issues on Tuesday 9 August when a few girls presented symptoms of what was thought to be a tummy bug.

It was not until Friday 19 August that we learned the issue could potentially be linked to contaminated water.

Section 65E(1) of the Education Act provides for schools to close in an emergency situation of this nature.