Fluoride Action Network

DHB, Ministry no-show decision frustrates Hamilton Council

Source: Upper North Island News | September 30th, 2013 | By Sophia Duckor-Jones
Location: New Zealand

Frustration from the Hamilton City Council following the Waikato DHB and Ministry of Health’s decision not to attend a public meeting on fluoride tonight.

The DHB has opted out of the meeting citing issues of bullying in previous meetings, while the Ministry of Health doesn’t see any benefits in attending the meeting.

Fluoride has become a hot topic in the city, since the council’s decision in June to remove it from Hamilton’s water.

Following public outcry, a referendum’s being held on the issue.

City council democratic manager and meeting facilitator Jude Parny says it would’ve been useful to have both groups there.

“I can’t do much about that. I just need to carry on and facilitate the meetings for the public.”

DHB’s spokeswoman Mary Anne Gill says the decision to not attend the meeting comes after months of bullying from anti-fluoride campaigners.

“We believe there is a part to it that is really a bit dangerous and we fear for the safety of some of our staff sometimes.”

Mayoral candidate Ewan Wilson, who’s pro-fluoride and also sits on the DHB, is attending the meeting.

He says the behaviour of anti-fluoride bullies is embarrassing to those who have legitimate concerns.

“There’s been attempts to manipulate Facebook pages and have also involved verbal attacks on staff and telephone bullying.”

He says the bullies are going to extreme tactics and their actions are embarrassing to people who have legitimate concerns.

“The best thing to do is to ignore them and ensure that we provide not only support to the staff but also information to those who genuinely feel they need more information.”