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Don't forget about us: ill Napier tradie

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/08/2016 Cleo Mary Fraser

A Napier plasterer is calling on authorities not to forget about businesses outside of Havelock North impacted by the water contamination crisis.

Self-employed plasterer Paul Mayo is out of pocket a week's wages and has lost clients after being struck down by a gastro illness after drinking "loads" of water while working in Havelock North earlier this month.

He says that while it's great to see the government and council - which have each promised $100,000 towards a recovery plan - helping local businesses get back on their feet, they shouldn't overlook others who may have been impacted.

"It's not just that one week, I've lost a couple of jobs because I couldn't get to them," Mr Mayo told NZ Newswire.

"What scares me is the number of clients I've lost."

He couldn't say how many other tradespeople were in a similar situation but said most of those who worked in Havelock North were from out of town.

The 41-year-old joked that he may be one of only a few as most tradies drank fizzy drinks and coffee where as he stuck to water while on the job.

He said after drinking loads of water in Havelock North he became ill on August 14 and was basically unable to leave the house for a week as he had a severe fever, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

It was the first time he has taken days off sick since he was in school, he said.

While the biggest impact has been felt in Havelock North, locals in the hospitality industry said some bar, cafe and restaurant owners in Napier had also lost customers as people were fearful of drinking water in the district.

A spokeswoman from Hastings District Council said they had yet to determine how the recovery funds would be spent, but said a rigorous process would take place in consultation with businesses to ensure funds were distributed fairly and to those most in need.

She said businesses outside of Havelock North may be included but it was too early to say.

About 5100 people have been hit by a gastro illness since the town's water supply was contaminated earlier this month. A boil water notice remains in place.

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