28 Nov 2013

Hamilton council defers fluoride decison

10:06 pm on 28 November 2013

The Hamilton City Council has deferred a decision on whether to put fluoride back into the city's water supply.

The council stopped fluoridation in June this year, but in a referendum in October nearly 70 voted to restore fluoridation.

A motion was put to the council on Thursday to reinstate fluoride.

However, an amendment sought a delay until the outcome of a High Court judicial review into the right of the South Taranaki District Council to fluoridate the Waverley and Patea water supplies is known.

That case was heard in New Plymouth earlier this week and a decision has been reserved.

A solicitor told councillors they had no legal obligation to delay a decision, but any decision made on Thursday could face its own judicial review.

There was very little discussion on the amendment and the councillors voted 7 to 5 to delay. Mayor Julie Hardaker said she was surprised by the decision.

"We've spent the last couple of weeks getting legal advice and talking about court cases and what was going on in Taranaki and, really, I came here today to make a decision.

"To be frank, I think people are over it - we've had a year of it - and I think people really just want the final decision made."

Anti-fluoride group Fluoride Action Network wants the situation to remain unchanged in Hamilton.

Another organisation, Safe Water Alternative New Zealand, said as has happened in South Taranaki, it would seek a judicial review if the council decides to put fluoride back in the water.