A major investigation has been launched into why a thousand people have been affected by contaminated water in Havelock North.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board and the Hastings District Council have both labelled the gastro outbreak an unprecedented event in the country.

Eighty two people have gone to see their GP today with gastro, 87 elderly people are also struck down in aged care facilities, 60 people have been treated at the hospital's emergency department and 20 people have been admitted - two are still in intensive care.

Test results will also confirm tomorrow whether the death of another elderly patient at Hawke's Bay Hospital was linked to the contaminated water.


Many more people are expected to be suffering, who haven't seen a doctor.

All schools in Havelock North are likely to be closed tomorrow.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said they are moving into an investigation phase, so this outbreak never happens again.

Mr Yule said tomorrow they will set the terms of reference, and confirm who will lead the major investigation.

He said the Ministry of Health have been contacted about the enquiry, and they may also conduct their own independent investigation.