SAFE WATER ALTERNATIVE NEW ZEALAND
Date: Monday 5 December 2013
Hamilton Mayor Hardaker is reported as writing;
"To be frank I think people are over it, we've had a year of it and people want a final decision made."
With all due respect to the Mayor, a Tribunal process was held in June that fulfilled all the requirements around process, public access, democracy, input and output and which resulted in a 7 to 1 decision to stop adding fluoride to Hamilton’s water supply.
Along came National politicians, various dental and health professionals with dented egos and a Council/WDHB member who, despite having voted for the Tribunal, saw an opportunity to publicize his political ambitions and promoted a referendum.
If the Mayor and her Council had grasped the nettle and stuck with the Tribunal decision, given that the demand for a referendum was politically driven, they would not be in the current pickle.
The combined resources of the WDHB, the Ministry of Health, the National Fluoride Information Service, and the Health Promotion Agency, all supported by the taxpayer, absolutely overwhelmed the no added fluoride group. It was a no surprise outcome given it was a rerun of the 2006 referendum and the spin doctors knew from that experience they just had to pour enough money in to get the result they wanted.
If Mayor Hardaker and her Council had stuck with the Tribunal result the fluoride issue would have been off the agenda, as it is with a growing number of local jurisdictions in the USA, Canada and Australia.
SWANZ is concerned that Council now faces another three years of confrontation with Hamilton City Council being the meat in what is a political sandwich. If they discard the options currently on the agenda and vote to revert to the Tribunal decision to stop adding fluoride, the issue will become the responsibility of the Government, the Ministry of Health and the District Health Boards.
That way our Mayor and Council will have the outcome she and most Councillors prefer and be free to focus on running our City.