Clean, green, New Zealand? Yeah Right.
Hawke's Bay resident Zoe Morken moved back to New Zealand from the UK three months ago and couldn't wait to live the clean, green lifestyle sold to many.
Only to be shocked about how false the image was.
She grew up in Hawke's Bay but had been living in UK for the past seven years.
Her memories were of clean rivers which she could swim in and taps she could drink from, without filters.
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But her experience on her return left her devastated, and her two year-old daughter Albertine Morken fighting for her life following a diagnosis of Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) from E. coli contamination.
"Clean, green New Zealand it isn't."
The most common cause of HUS, particularly in children under the age of 5, is infection with certain strains of E. coli bacteria.
E.coli refers to a group of bacteria normally found in the intestines of healthy humans and animals.
Albertine contracted HUS, a condition which can occur when the small blood vessels in the kidneys become damaged and inflamed.
This damage can cause clots to form in the vessels. The clots clog the filtering system in the kidneys and lead to kidney failure, which could be life-threatening.
"She didn't look sick, but she had diarrhoea, vomiting, and pink urine," Zoe said.
"She was very lethargic. The Hastings Health Centre gave her antibiotics.
"I pushed for a urine test and the results showed blood and protein in her urine."
Albertine was rushed from Hawke's Bay to Auckland's Starship Hospital, where she stayed for 10 days, as the infection attacked her kidneys and red blood cells.
Heavily pregnant at the time, Zoe and her husband Daniel watched their daughter go downhill from there.
"I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time and all the stress meant I went into labour, all the while I could look across to the Starship Hospital knowing my two-year-old was on the verge of dying.
"Her kidneys were failing, she only had 13 per cent kidney function.
"She looked like she was dying. We watched her go downhill for about three days," Zoe said.
Doctors told the couple that at that stage she would plateau and then either continue going downhill or up.
Albertine needed two blood transfusions but she started recovering.
"She didn't need dialysis which is good. Her kidneys are damaged but doctors say that because she is so young they should heal themselves naturally.
"We have a specialist coming down from Auckland Starship to see her next week. It takes about six weeks to recover."
The Morkens live just outside of Otane at a family farm, and have a private drinking bore about 3.6m deep.
The Papanui stream runs through their property into the Tukituki River.
There are some council approved feedlots in the vicinity.
"I believe the HUS strand of E. coli came from the drinking water."
Zoe and her husband Daniel got the drinking water tested after being urged by her father to do so.
It tested positive for E.coli.
"I never would have got the water tested otherwise. Lots of places are testing positive for E.coli and we need to ask the council why that is happening."
Zoe remembers being able to drink from the taps and she believes the council is not being forthcoming about the dangers of E. coli.
"I was just shocked about the E. coli contamination. I think council is giving out all these farming permits and now it's backfiring.
"We have been boiling water, and we have had UV filters installed in our house and our parents' house as a precaution.
"I am hoping it won't take a child to die for people to wake up and realise we can't keep farming like this and not expect repercussions.
"Albertine still has weekly blood tests at the Hawke's Bay Hospital until her numbers are better than probably monthly checks," Zoe said.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council told Hawke's Bay Today that based on data collected between July 2013 to June 2018, the Papanui at Middle Road received a D grade for swimmability according to criteria under the revised NPSFM (2017).
"This means it would generally not be considered suitable for human recreation (e.g. swimming), with a predicted average infection risk of more than 3 per cent."
HBRC's principal scientist, groundwater quality, Janine Barber, said it was common to find E. coli in shallow unconfined groundwater bores and people were advised to regularly test and treat the water if used for drinking.
"The drinking water standards in NZ now regard any bore less than 30 metres as an unsecure supply which is highly likely to have E. coli type contamination."
Raymond Burr, chief executive of Qlabs Limited in Waipawa, said E. coli was found in most streams and rivers in New Zealand.
But what was surprising was that there was an increase in the number of E. coli occurrences in underground water supply, Burr said.
"E.coli is found in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, in their faecal matter.
"Finding it in underground water supply caught people by surprise. It's always been thought that NZ bore water supply was clean and pristine.
"But that's not the case. 80 per cent of water tested, tests positive for E. coli, but that's because people bring it in because they are already suspicious of it."
Burr said there was an increase in the occurrence of water systems failing, regardless of the point of collection.
"No rural drinking water is safe," Burr said.
"People should get their water tested, or use a UV filtration system."