Fluoride will not be added to the Huia Village water supply, in accordance with the wishes of the majority of local residents who responded to a survey on the issue.
Properties supplied by the Huia Village water treatment plant were recently surveyed by the Huia/Cornwallis Local Water Agenda Group on whether or not they supported their water supply being fluoridated.
More than 130 replies were received from the 243 properties surveyed, with 73% opposing fluoridation.
At the community’s request, the water supply at Huia Village has never been fluoridated since the treatment plant was constructed in 1971.
However, the option of whether or not to fluoridate the local water supply was revisited as water supplier Watercare Services Ltd moves to bring the Huia water treatment plant in line with new water treatment standards, introduced under the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards 2000.
Watercare needs to upgrade the plant before January 2005 if it is to produce water that meets these standards and maintains an ‘A’ grading with the Ministry of Health.
A report on the Huia Village water supply was brought to the Waitakere Community Board and the Council’s Environmental Management Committee this month. Both supported residents’ requests that fluoride not be added to the Huia water supply, although the Environmental Management Committee also moved that the fluoridation issue be reviewed with the local community in two years.
“The population of Huia is changing with more young families moving to the area, and the committee wanted to give the residents another opportunity to consider the benefits of fluoridation in a less hurried time frame, and with as wide a range of information as possible being made available to them,” says Councillor Denise Yates, Deputy Chairperson of the Environmental Management Committee.
“As a former school dental nurse, I am very aware of the beneficial difference fluoride can make to the teeth of children and adults alike, and of the huge bulk of evidence that there are few, if any, significant side effects of drinking fluoridated water.
“It is for these reasons that the Committee passed a resolution to allow the Huia people to review the situation in two years time. We wanted to leave that option open to them.”