‘My hope and expectation that the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry would waken us from our national slumber has not been realised.’
In August 2016, 40 per cent of the residents of Havelock North were struck down by a serious bacterial infection. Eminent medical researcher David Skegg argues that the outbreak highlights weaknesses in our country’s health infrastructure – weaknesses already evident in problems ranging from child nutrition to cancer. New Zealand, Skegg explains, must invest more in public health and find the political will needed to oppose the forces that damage health. Personal health care is important, but we neglect public health at our peril.