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Fluoridation Of Onehunga’s Water Supply

NEWS RELEASE

7 March 2001

FLUORIDATION OF ONEHUNGA’S WATER SUPPLY WINS CITY WORKS COMMITTEE SUPPORT

Auckland City Council’s City Works Committee supports the fluoridation of Onehunga’s water supply.

The committee’s recommendation that Onehunga water should be fluoridated in accordance with levels recommended by Government will be considered at a full council meeting on March 22.

Committee chairperson Councillor Doug Astley says the committee has considered the pros and cons of the contentious issue and has recommended fluoridation in the interests of public health.

The case for and against was put to today’s committee meeting by proponents and opponents of fluoridation. The committee voted 5-2 in favour with one abstention.


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Councillor Astley says his decision to recommend fluoridation follows a consultation process which began in May last year following a City Works Committee meeting.

“A sub-committee was formed to oversee the content of a fluoride survey information pack which was distributed to residents along with a questionnaire seeking their views,” he said.

“A two-page presentation from Auckland Healthcare and New Zealand Pure Water Association accompanied the questionnaire and interested parties displayed material for and against fluoride in an area next to the Onehunga library.

“Of the 34 per cent of residents and 36 per cent of businesses who responded, 33.2 per cent favoured fluoridation and 62.2 per cent opposed it while 4.6 per cent indicated no preference.”

Mr Astley said letters of support had been received from the Minister of Health Annette King and other health authorities and the Maungakiekie Community Board had resolved to support fluoridation at its meeting last month.

“On that basis, I resolved to recommend fluoridation in line with the community board’s own recommendation,” Councillor Astley said.

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“The buck stops with the council; we are legally obliged to make a ruling on this issue,” he said. “Fluoridation is an emotive topic and it is not easy to make a decision because people have very strong views at both ends of the spectrum.

“In the end, it is up to individual councillors to make a judgment and this is why the committee’s recommendation will be put before the full council for consideration later this month.”

“It will give all councillors a chance to consider the survey results and all the other information that has come in since the subject was first raised.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Councillor Doug Astley, tel: 620 4923 or 025 2970 494.

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