Wellington Scoop

Candlelit Vigil for Water

Press Release – Forest And Bird
One year since the Havelock North water crisis, four communities will hold a candlelit ‘Vigil for Water’ this Sunday at twilight.

People in Havelock North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin will meet with candles and a common message for central and regional governments: our communities and environment need clean water.

In August 2016, 5500 people of Havelock North fell ill and 3 people died after the town supply was contaminated by campylobacter from animal waste.

Michaela Evans, an organiser of the Havelock North vigil, says “New Zealand’s two most precious assets are its people, and our environment. Safe water means life and we cannot live, let alone thrive, without it.”

“We’re holding this gathering to acknowledge the effect polluted water has had on our community, and to show that people care and are speaking up to secure safe water. We will keep speaking up until we see changes in place all over the country that would prevent such an event from happening again,” she says.

Annabeth Cohen of Forest & Bird, who will be speaking at the Canterbury vigil, says “New Zealand’s waterways are in crisis. They used to be full of native fish, eels, river birds, and insects. Now our rivers and lakes are awash with cow effluent, sediment, algae, and they dry up in summer.

“When we have true ecosystem health, human health will follow. This vigil is a message that New Zealanders will not allow our politicians to stand by while our water gets worse, people get sick, and our natural world suffers.”

Everyone is invited to participate in the vigils. Candles and family friendly entertainment will be provided.

Wellington – Weta Tripod Courtney Place – 7.00pm
Speakers: Kevin Hague, Forest & Bird; Professor Dr Michael Baker, University of Otago Wellington; Music: Ariana Tikao.

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