Fund to assist with long-term illness related to campylobacter outbreak

A fund to help people suffering from long-term illness following last year’s campylobacter outbreak has been set up through a partnership between Hastings District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

In June both councils confirmed that they would set up the fund to help support those people who had been impacted financially through suffering serious long-term illness lasting for longer than six months, related to the outbreak.

The two councils had each contributed $100,000 to the fund.

“Our councillors, both district and regional, have a great deal of compassion for our people who have suffered serious on-going affects from the water-borne illness,” said Hastings acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council acting chairman Rick Barker said no fund could ever fully compensate those suffering long-term illness.

“This fund is a clear statement that both Councils acknowledge that loss and suffering, and in doing so offer a contribution to help those people with their lives.”

While the Government Inquiry into the campylobacter outbreak had found that neither council had directly caused the illness, both wanted to assist residents who were struggling to recover from it.

“Both councils realise how important it is to have a fund to which people can apply to receive support,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.

The councils have been working with central Government agencies on how best to set up and distribute the fund after receiving information from residents who had suffered such long-term illnesses.

Community Health Assistance Fund forms will be available on the Hastings District Council website and from the Hastings council office and libraries from Friday, August 11. Applicants will need to supply a doctor’s referral confirming the relationship between their long-term illness and suffering campylobacter as a result of last year’s Havelock North water contamination.

The health assistance takes the form of one-off payments with applications assessed by an independent medical professional and a panel making the final decision. Applications close on September 22.