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Public consultation before fluoride decision says Council

Public consultation before fluoride decision says Rotorua council

Rotorua District Council will undertake a comprehensive public consultation programme before making any decisions on whether to fluoridate the district’s water supply. Currently Rotorua’s water is not fluoridated.

At a meeting of the council’s Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee yesterday (18 June), councillors agreed to take the leadership role on the fluoride issue and to engage with the local community.

However they declined a request to undertake community consultation in collaboration with the Lakes District Health Board as the DHB already held a pre-determined position in support of fluoridation.

Mayor Steve Chadwick said before any decision was made on the complex question of fluoridation, the council needed to become well informed and listen to all views with an open mind.

“We will need to hear from the likes of health authorities and water engineering experts and we’ll need to explore international evidence.

“It’s an important and sensitive issue, and we certainly appreciate that it’s one on which many people hold strong opinions.

“So our next step is to develop a fair and legally robust process for consulting with our community. That process will need to ensure there are genuine opportunities for people to share their different perspectives with the council,” said Mrs Chadwick.

The Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee requested council managers to prepare a report on options for a consultation process, including consideration of the special consultative procedure provided for in the Local Government Act. The report is expected to be discussed by the council in late July.

END

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