On 20th February 2014, the Hamilton City Council was put on notice of possible judicial review proceedings by Safe Water Alternative New Zealand Inc. (SWANZ), following legal advice.
The notice warned council that should they make a decision to reintroduce fluoride into the city’s water supply, SWANZ would retain a barrister and seek a Judicial Review of the decision.
Trevor Crosbie, spokesperson and co-ordinator of SWANZ says the matter is actually quite simple, “A decision of significance such as this must be made in accordance with Part 6 of the Local Government Act 2002. The Act clearly reads that a further special consultation would be necessary before the council can vote to reintroduce fluoride.”
“If the council votes at its next meeting on 27th March, it is in clear procedural breach of the stated requirements of the Act. The point is that this is a brand new decision and it cannot piggyback or rely on the previous special consultative requirements used for the old decision to cease fluoridation, at the time of the Tribunal in June 2013.”
“There actually needs to be a completely new hearing – with public notification of the proposal to reintroduce fluoride and sufficient time allowed for written and oral submissions, allowing everyone who wants to, to be heard.”
“We have been advised that should the council follow any other process the resultant decision would be invalid and flawed.”
Mr Crosbie was emphatic, should it be necessary, SWANZ is fully prepared to launch a legal challenge to the council’s decision in court.