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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news