Waipa en­ters flu­o­ride de­bate

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BAIN

‘‘Un­der DHB con­trol, flu­o­ri­da­tion won't be stopped and soon it will be added to ar­eas like Waipa.’’ Kane Titch­ener

Waipa Dis­trict Coun­cil is back­ing a plan to hand de­ci­sions over flu­o­ri­da­tion to Dis­trict Health Boards.

The move has dis­ap­pointed Flu­o­ride Free New Zealand which be­lieved the com­mu­nity hasn’t had a say on the mat­ter.

The lobby group was crit­i­cal of the Waipa coun­cil, which it said had opened the door for flu­o­ri­da­tion of the dis­trict’s drink­ing wa­ter.

Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest said how­ever, peo­ple did have an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide feed­back, through the Health (Flu­o­ri­da­tion of Drink­ing Wa­ter) Amend­ment Bill.

He de­fended his coun­cil’s de­ci­sion not to con­sult over the mat­ter, point­ing to a Lo­cal Govern­ment New Zealand de­ci­sion ask­ing cen­tral Govern­ment to take over de­ci­sions on flu­o­ri­da­tion.

The Bill is at the Se­lect Com­mit­tee stage.

If passed, it gives power to the Waikato Dis­trict Health Board to make di­rec­tions about flu­o­ri­da­tion of Waipa’s drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies.

Flu­o­ride Free New Zealand spokesman Kane Titch­ener said he was not im­pressed by the coun­cil’s at­ti­tude.

He said the pro­posed process was ‘‘fun­da­men­tally flawed’’. There would be a 10-per­son board mak­ing the de­ci­sions and it would in­clude four govern­ment ap­pointees and six mem­bers elected from the com­mu­nity.

Their level of un­der­stand­ing of flu­o­ri­da­tion would be no greater than lo­cal coun­cil­lors mak­ing the de­ci­sions, Titch­ener said.

‘‘Un­der DHB con­trol, flu­o­ri­da­tion won’t be stopped and soon it will be added to ar­eas like Waipa who have never seen it be­fore,’’ said Titch­ener.

‘‘Coun­cil’s dis­cus­sions and de­ci­sions were taken be­hind closed doors at a pub­lic ex­cluded work­shop, no for­mal res­o­lu­tion was taken re­gard­ing mak­ing a sub­mis­sion on be­half of the dis­trict.’’

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