A “diseased water” publicity stunt has got a few feathers ruffled in New Zealand and has been called irresponsible. Sometimes when spectacular guerilla actions go bad, the global focus creates a sharper focus on the issues.
The plastic bottle, containing putrid water and live mosquito larvae, listed its contents as “cholera, typhoid, faeces and guinea worm”.
One bottle arrived in a brown wrapper, by courier, at The Press office yesterday.
Printed on the side of the bottle, labeled “Mudd”, was an invitation to the Auckland launch of a United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) international safe-water project.
No other written material came with the bottle, leaving newsroom bosses wondering what it contained and how it should be handled.
Judy Williamson, a health protection officer from Community and Public Health (CPH) said it was a clever idea, but the same effect could have been achieved by colouring water with brown paint.
“It was irresponsible to suggest that New Zealand water supplies have got cholera and typhoid in it,” Williamson said.
“There are some supplies that are dodgy in New Zealand, but those kinds of diseases are not rife in our community, so there is no way that they could have got into our water systems.
“It’s sort of scaremongering in some respects.