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Gastro-hit businesses get time extension

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/09/2016

Businesses hard hit by the Havelock North gastroenteritis outbreak have been given an extra week to apply for assistance from the local council.

The Hasting District Council says 24 applications had been received so far for assistance which ranges from cash grants, rates deferments and the possibility of small, interest-free loans.

Applications were due to close on Friday but businesses now have until September 30 to lodge a claim, bringing it into line with Work and Income's deadline for those who lost income because of the outbreak.

So far 75 people and families have been given assistance by Work and Income.

Businesses need to meet the council's criteria to be eligible for help and it is also working with Inland Revenue, the Social Development Ministry and banks in co-ordinating access to other financial aid for those who apply.

Contamination of the Hawke's Bay town's water supply in August left more than 5000 sick and retired Court of Appeal judge Lyn Stevens has been appointed to head an independent inquiry into it.

The probe will look into how the water became contaminated, how it was dealt with, and what can be done to reduce the risk of it happening again.

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