Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


No Excuses for Delay in Hamilton Water Fluoridation

Media Release

Date: 7 March 2014

No Excuses for Delay in Hamilton Water Fluoridation

There are no excuses now, Hamilton City Council should put fluoride back in the city’s water supply, says Waikato District Health Board (DHB) chief executive Craig Climo.

South Taranaki District Council’s decision to fluoridate Patea and Waverly’s water supplies stands and now Hamilton health professionals want their council to put fluoride back in their water – immediately.

Anti-fluoridation group New Health has failed in its challenge of South Taranaki District Council’s decision to fluoridate the town’s water supplies.

The High Court judgement was made today by Justice Rodney Hansen.

“It is the people in Hamilton who really need their water fluoridated, that have been most burdened by Hamilton City Council’s decision to remove it from the water here,” said Mr Climo.

“Community water fluoridation is one of the very few health interventions where the beneficiary of the service actually doesn’t need to do anything to enjoy the benefits.

“It comes at a very low cost and is of very clear health benefit. We shouldn’t lose those sorts of opportunities.”

On 10 December 2012, the South Taranaki District Council decided by a vote of 10-3 to add fluoride to the water supplies of Patea and Waverly, both small towns in South Taranaki.

The ‘New Health’ group challenged the decision on the grounds that the council didn’t have the grounds to add fluoride to its water supply for therapeutic reasons; adding fluoride for therapeutic purposes constitutes a breach of the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment; and in deciding to add fluoride to the water supplies, the council failed to take into account a number of mandatory relevant considerations.

Justice Hansen’s judgement result report states:

“I have rejected all grounds of challenge. I have concluded that there is implied power to fluoridate in the Local Government Act 2002 . . . the Health Act confirms that fluoride may be added to drinking water in accordance with drinking water standards issued under that Act.

“I have concluded that the fluoridation of water is not medical treatment . . . while I accept that fluoridation has a therapeutic purpose, I conclude that the means by which the purpose is effected does not constitute medical treatment.

“I am of the view that the council was not required to take into account the controversial factual issues relied on by New Health.

“The view of many public health authorities and medical science bodies, among them the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Dental Association, is that fluoridation is safe and beneficial.”

Waikato DHB medical officer of health Dr Anita Bell is just one health professional who is pleased with Justice Hansen’s ruling.

“It is the right decision, and now we can only hope that Hamilton City Council won’t delay in having our water fluoridated here in Hamilton again,” she said.

Justice Hansen said he was driven to the conclusion that the significant advantages of fluoridation clearly outweigh the only acknowledged drawback, the increased incidence of fluoridosis.

“I am satisfied that the power conferred on local authorities to fluoridate is a proportionate response to the scourge of dental decay, particularly in socially disadvantaged areas,” he said.

Water fluoridation is a 60-year-old practice in New Zealand and occurred for the first time here in Hastings in 1954.

Nearly 70 per cent of Hamilton voters voted for fluoride in last year’s Hamilton City Council referendum.

Currently 48 per cent of the New Zealand population live in communities with water fluoridation programmes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Work, Curfew

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood.

“Mr Banks was found guilty of electoral fraud in June. Regardless of what sentence is handed down, his reputation is in tatters. Sentencing is a matter for the court, and publicly deriding him further brings little benefit.”

“With the conviction confirmed, it is time for the ACT Party to step up to the mark and apologise to the people of Epsom. Mr Banks has suffered the consequences of his actions, but so far the ACT Party has gotten off scott-free” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news