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STDHB Fluoidation verdict

FIND press release on STDHB FLUORIDATION verdict of 7 March 2014


The New Health v STDHB verdict announced on Friday 7th March did not condone water fluoridation.

Judge Rodney Hansen straight-up stated in his introduction:

"[5] It is important to make it clear at the outset that this judgment is not required to pronounce on the merits of fluoridation. The issues I am required to address concern the power of a local body to fluoridate drinking water supply. That is a legal question which does not require me to canvass or express a view on the arguments for and against fluoridation"

Therefore, while a finding that councils were mass medicating the public against their will would have ended Fluoridation immediately, the finding that they are allowed to do so will make no difference to the status quo in NZ.

It would be inappropriate and misleading for fluoridation promoters to state that this verdict supports the science of fluoridation. The verdict relates to the Bill of Rights and is for lawyers to argue.

Councils who wish to fluoridate their communities' water supplies on behalf of the DHBs will still be obliged to consult with their citizens and ensure distribution of accurate information, rejection of propaganda, and a balanced transparent discussion of the issues for and against.

We consider the tribunal method adopted by the Hamilton City Council last year is the process best suited for this, as it has been shown that referenda with low voter turnout can be easily manipulated, especially when one group has the ability to use taxpayer's funding to promote their views and the opposition doesn't.
Similarly, national level decisions have been shown to be problematic, as they remove the right of citizens in each community to self-determination based on their own particular requirements.

For councillors, there is no shirking their responsibilities to the people of their community who put them there.
Divesting decisions which affect the quality of life of their community to a beehive decision defeats the purpose of local government.

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