Fluoride Action Network

Hipkins on housing; Luxon on candidate’s fluoride comments

NewsTalkZB | Sept 18, 2023 | By Adam Pearse and Michael Neilson
Posted on September 18th, 2023
Location: New Zealand

National Party leader Christopher Luxon has been grilled on a National Party candidate’s anti-fluoridation and anti-mandate position.

Ryan Hamilton, favoured to win the Hamilton East electorate, has voiced support for groups that spread misinformation about fluoridation.

Luxon said the comments were old and “utterly wrong,” and don’t reflect his current views.

“I think the comments are from maybe about a decade ago … they were entirely inappropriate and he was wrong,” Luxon said.

“He subsequently apologised for those remarks and our position on fluoride is very much aligned with the Government, which is that we have supported the government moving fluoride management from local councils to the Director General [of Health].”

Hamilton has been contacted for a response. Luxon denied the party was hiding Hamilton from media, saying he would follow up on when Hamilton would be available to comment.

Luxon claimed Hamilton had since changed his views to align with the party’s. He also warned no one would go into Parliament if their past views were scrutinised in such a way.

In August, National issued a press release attacking Labour minister Dr Deborah Russell for public comments she made on tax that conflicted with the party’s current positions.

Challenged whether he was being hypocritical, Luxon disagreed and said Russell’s role as associate finance minister meant her former views on tax were more relevant.

“I would suggest he’s not an expert on fluoridation,” Luxon said of Hamilton, who had been a Hamilton City councillor since 2018.

Luxon said it was his understanding that Hamilton was fully vaccinated but had advocated for people who were not to be able to access council buildings at a time when that was not allowed under the mandates.

The campaign trail will heat up today as Luxon and Labour leader Chris Hipkins prepare to go head-to-head in the first live debate of the election tomorrow night.

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/election-2023-live-updates-christopher-luxon-on-candidate-ryan-hamilton-s-anti-fluoride-comments/