Fluoride will be removed from Hamilton’s water supply within two weeks.
A huge victory for the anti-fluoride lobby has seen the city council vote 7-1 to make Hamilton the second-largest unfluoridated population in the country.
The decision, just reached after less than an hours’ debate, followed a lengthy tribunal which heard the weight of public submissions, many from outside the city, argue for the removal of hydrofluorosilicic acid from the water supply.
It overturns the outcome of a binding referendum in 2006 which saw 38 per cent of eligible Hamilton voters, more than typically vote in council elections, overwhelmingly for fluoridation of the city’s drinking water to be continued.
Just over half of New Zealand’s population has access to fluoridated water.
New Plymouth District Council voted in October to end fluoridation, joining Tauranga, Whanganui, Rotorua, Whangarei, Timaru, Nelson, Greymouth and Napier.
Christchurch is the only major city without fluoridated water.
The decision was made by just eight elected members of the 13-strong council.
Councillors Martin Gallagher, Ewan Wilson and Pippa Mahood removed themselves after declaring a conflict with their district health board roles.
Councillors John Gower and Maria Westphal also withdrew after making public statements on the issue.
FOR: Julie Hardaker, Dave Macpherson, Gordon Chesterman, Angela O’Leary, Daphne Bell, Roger Hennebry.
AGAINST: Peter Bos.