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

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news