Fluoride will stay in Hastings’ drinking water and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chairman Kevin Snee is delighted.
At the board’s monthly meeting last week he said he was pleased voters in a referendum held in conjuction with last month’s local body elections “had seen through the nonsense and pseudo-science”put out by those opposed to the dental health intiative”.
Residents in the fluoridated part of the district – Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere – agreed to keep the chemical in the drinking water, by 9512 to 5461.
However, getting the board’s message out had come at a cost.
The financial report presented at the meeting showed that the infrastructure and non-medical budget so far this year had been overspent by $237,000.
The report said the costs were “unfavourable” because of “additional health promotion costs, the write-off of bad debts and a large number of sundry items”.
Mr Snee confirmed that the board’s pro-fluoride campaign had contributed to the over-run, about $40,000 of which could be attributed to the fluoride campaign.
The board believed the Ministry of Health would pay about $5000 of that and had supplied campaign resources through its Health Promotion Agency.