Tem­pers flare over flu­o­ride de­bate

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LIE MITCHELL

The com­pli­men­tary wa­ter jug re­mained un­touched as an­ti­flu­o­ride cam­paign­ers bared their teeth at a Porirua City Coun­cil meet­ing last Tues­day.

Mem­bers of Flu­o­ride Ac­tion Net­work, a group com­mit­ted to re­mov­ing flu­o­ride from the wa­ter sup­ply, ar­rived at the coun­cil’s draft an­nual plan meet­ing to ar­gue their case.

Nearly a third of the 52 sub­mis­sions about the an­nual plan were from people op­posed to flu­o­ridi­s­a­tion. Porirua is one of 23 coun­cils that flu­o­ri­dates its wa­ter.

The meet­ing took on a com­bat­ive tone, as coun­cil­lors ques­tioned mem­bers of the group.

Julie Buck­ley said her son had suf­fered se­ri­ous health prob­lems re­lated to flu­o­ride.

Asked if she would sup­port a ref­er­en­dum, Buck­ley said no.

‘‘The prin­ci­ple of democ­racy is only OK if they agree with my view. That’s what it sounds like to me,’’ mayor Nick Leggett said.

A cam­paigner sit­ting in the gallery said Leggett’s state­ment was ‘‘out­ra­geously rude’’.

Anti- flu­o­ride cam­paigner Mary Byrne was also not in favour of a pub­lic vote on the is­sue.

‘‘I don’t think it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate is­sue for a ref­er­en­dum, be­cause we don’t put most is­sues out to ref­er­en­dum,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s no other medicine we would put out to a ref­er­en­dum.’’

Leggett took on the cam­paign­ers.

‘‘So you think a few people can come here to sub­mit and do what you want, but you don’t want the wider pop­u­la­tion to have their say,’’ he said.

That pro­voked a cam­paigner in the gallery to shout at Leggett.

‘‘Can you con­trol the gallery, for good­ness sake. I’m al­lowed to ask ques­tions,’’ Leggett said to Denys Latham, who was chair­ing the meet­ing.

Cam­paigner Shaun O’Brien used his 10-minute slot to show an anti- flu­o­ride video, which coun­cil­lor John Burke de­scribed as ‘‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’’.

‘‘I’m not very good at de­bat­ing,’’ O’Brien said, af­ter try­ing to de­fer the coun­cil­lors’ ques­tions.

Tough job: Denys Latham chaired the lively meet­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.