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


No community referendum on fluoridation for Rotorua

1 August 2014

No community referendum on fluoridation for Rotorua

Rotorua District Council last night (31 July) voted 7-6 to rule out a binding referendum to allow the community to decide on whether fluoride should be added to the district’s water supplies.

The issue was re-debated at a full council meeting, prompted by a notion of motion lodged against an earlier (16 July) Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee decision supporting a referendum. The new decision followed robust debate with all councillors expressing their views before a public gallery of 60 people in the Council Chamber.

Mayor Steve Chadwick - who supported an amendment for the referendum to be subject to Lakes District Health Board and Ministry of Health funding, and affordability - maintained it was a significant issue which had now been considered and dealt with by the council.

“That’s democracy,” Mrs Chadwick said. “This wasn’t a decision on the pros and cons of fluoride but on the process, and it was certainly not a decision taken lightly by councillors. The debate was spirited and fair, and it’s now time for us to collectively move on to other challenges and opportunities on behalf of our communities.”

Councillors who spoke against the motion were mostly concerned with the cost of the referendum at a time when Rotorua District Council had been through a major restructuring programme and was committed to being more financially prudent. Councillors Charles Sturt and Rob Kent also expressed a view that the potential for subsequent legal challenges could force more financial pressure on to the council.

Councillors Merepeka Raukawa-Tait and Glenys Searancke both talked of the need for Central Government to make the fluoride decision, and to stop the legal costs that were being racked up by local authorities across the country.

Councillors who spoke for a referendum stressed the importance of showing leadership by allowing Rotorua residents an opportunity to engage and have their say on the matter - in a term when the council had committed to better community engagement through its Rotorua 2030 vision and 2016 priorities.

Councillor Mike McVicker added that treatment of dental hygiene was a significant “social cost” to the Lakes District Health Board and it would be better for Rotorua if the money was able to be spent elsewhere.

Rotorua’s water is currently not fluoridated. The council has no further plans at this stage to reconsider fluoridation of the district’s water supplies.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news