A deeply divided Kapiti Coast District Council has retained the use of fluoride in the water supply for Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati.
Councillors who voted to retain it say anti-fluoride campaigners intimidated them late at night this week in a bid to sway their votes.
Mayor Jenny Rowan voted against continuing to add fluoride to the towns’ supply but refused to use her casting vote to sway the 5–5 decision.
Ms Rowan and councillors Peter Daniel, Tony Jack, Sandra Patton and David Scott voted against continued use of fluoride while Ann Chapman, Diane Ammundsen, Anne Molineux, Hilary Wooding and Peter Ellis voted for it. The split vote meant fluoride will continue to be used.
Another split 5–5 vote on a recommendation the council hold a referendum on the issue meant a referendum will not go ahead.
Instead, the council voted to ask the health select committee to hold an inquiry into the effects of adding fluoride to public supplies and to ask the national medical ethics committee to investigate whether fluoride is a medicine under the Health Act and whether adding it to the public supply was an ethical act.
Mrs Chapman and Mrs Ammundsen said anti-fluoride lobbyists had banged on their doors late at night this week, which they had found intimidating.
“I was home alone at night when they started hammering on my door,” Mrs Ammundsen said. “I had a bad night, they came back at 7.20am the following morning – it was inappropriate and intimidating.”
Mrs Chapman said she was disturbed by a late-night visit. “They turned up in the dark, did not identify themselves, tried to give me a piece of paper. I said I was not interested and they threw it in my face.”
Paraparaumu Raumati community board chairman John Haxton was angry the community would now not have any input on an issue that affected them.
Fluoride Action Network spokeswoman Mary Byrne said not letting the community have its say on fluoride was “very arrogant”.