A Hutt City Council committee is on Tuesday debating whether to review fluoridation.
Fluoridation is still supported by the Ministry of Health as a way to prevent tooth decay, but opponents say it is a violation of rights and can cause ill health.
Councillor Max Shierlaw wants a referendum to be held during the next local election because residents have never been asked their opinion since the introduction of fluoride in the 1960s.
But councillor Ross Jamieson says a referendum would be a $150,000 expense for something that does not appear to be a big community issue.
The committee's decision will go to a full council meeting next month.