Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride still sensitive topic

Source: The Ashburton Guardian | August 12th, 2008 | By Susan Sandys
Location: New Zealand

Fluoride remains a sensitive topic in Methven despite a referendum this month producing a decisive result.

Methven Community Board members discussed the result at their six-weekly meeting yesterday, where board chairman Martin Nordqvist said he was pleased with the result.

“Fortunately 632 expressed a common sense approach to the fluoride poll,” Mr Nordqvist said.

Board vice chairman Dave Wilson said he did not know if he would agree with the term “common sense approach”, but the referendum had been a good process to go through. It had shown fears that some had that anti-fluoridationists would be the only ones to vote had been unfounded. Mr Wilson did not think board members should be commenting on their personal opinions.

“From a democratic point of view it was a good process to go through,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Nordqvist and Mr Wilson were on opposite sides of the fluoridation fence earlier this year when the chairman was the only board member to vote against holding the referendum. Community requests for a referendum have been declined by the board twice in the past 10 years.

Ashburton District councillor Ken Lowe said the result “once and for all” put the fluoride issue to rest.

“And I do not think it was a waste of time and a waste of money, democracy is never cheap,” Mr Lowe said of the $5000 cost.

“They (residents) have spoken loud and clear.”

Ashburton District Council spokesperson John Rollinson presented the official result to the board.

The referendum on August 2 saw 632 vote against removing fluoride from the town’s water supply and just 195 vote for removing it.

There were three informal votes and one blank vote.