Hidden Legionnaire's: MBIE plays cool over hot water fears

Category: Laser News

As seen on www.radionz.co.nz - November 16, 2017

Plumbers are criticising New Zealand's controls to combat Legionnaire's disease as being years behind other developed countries.

Some 10 cases of the sometimes-fatal disease, blamed on bacteria in potting mix, have been reported in Canterbury in another of the region's regular spring spikes. Two people ended up in intensive care, with one now transferred to Auckland Hospital in an induced coma.

Master Plumbers has been lobbying the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment for months on the issue, saying the Building Code is lagging behind Ministry of Health guidelines.

Other countries put in regulations for hot water checks years ago.

"In Australia and the UK it's mandatory to have water sampling in high-risk facilities - retirement villages, childcare centres, and hospitals obviously. Without monitoring you don't know if you've got a problem," Mr Dick said.

"They don't want to make it mandatory because they don't see it as a big enough risk. Somebody's put it to me is that unless they see the evidence or the body count, they won't legislate against it."

The ministry told Master Plumbers it was not looking at any changes, and told RNZ in a statement that Legionnaire's was not a building issue.