After a thorough consultation process with the local community, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has decided to continue to fluoridate the Waipukurau water supply.
Mayor Trish Giddens said today that Council was happy with the consultation process and had heard good information both ‘for’ and ‘against’ fluoridation. A public meeting was held, and experts were called to speak and provide information. There were 54 written submissions and out of those, 15 attended a hearing to speak on 16 November 2009. A Council ‘Blog’ was open during August – October, as was a Council web ‘Forum’.
Council considered all information as well as a local survey which showed 439 wanted to stop fluoridation, and 297 wanted to continue fluoridation. Strong support of fluoridation was shown by the Ministry of Health with doctors, dentists, and public health officials informing Council of the detrimental effects on populations once fluoride was stopped in water supplies.
The question of continuing or stopping fluoridation was asked as the fluoride dosing system at the Waipukurau water treatment plant was due to be replaced – and Council considered it timely to ask the community their views about fluoride.
“There was no consultation with the public when fluoridation began in Waipukurau in 1979 as it was seen as an important health issue at the time. This Council has consulted with the public and professionals, and it seems it is still a very important health issue. That is why Council has decided to continue to fluoridate the Waipukurau water supply.”
The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and the Fluoride Action Network NZ were given opportunities to present information to Councillors and the public. Waipukurau’s water supply is the only one fluoridated in Central Hawke’s Bay.