Fluoride Action Network

Methven: Disappointment in anti-fluoride camp

Source: The Ashburton Gazette | August 4th, 2008 | By Erin Bishop
Location: New Zealand

Disappointed and surprised was how Methven anti-fluoride campaigner Phil Johnson was feeling yesterday.

But Methven Fluoride Action Group member Mr Johnson said the fact that 75% of Methven people responded in the referendum proved that it had been the right thing to do.

“They thought it was worth it so that justified it,” he said.

In the end it was a convincing victory for the pro-fluoride campaigners, with 627 votes to 203 meaning fluoride will remain in the town’s water supply.

“I’m very disappointed by the results and I’m surprised by the margin, I thought we’d get more votes than that,” Mr Johnson said.

“We weren’t ever totally confident but we believed in everything we put out there. Everything we put out there could be verified and we’re proud of the fact that we put everything in front of people.”

He said nothing had changed in his mind. He still believed that fluoride should not be in the water supply and he was disappointed that the 203 people that agreed with him still had no choice in the matter.

“But the Methven people have spoken and we have to listen to that,” Mr Johnson said.

“We’ll now sit back and if anything comes through, we will put it to the people.”

Ashburton anti-flouride campaigner Don Church said he wasn’t disappointed because he felt he had done everything he could to get information to the electors.

“It would have been disappointing if I hadn’t put the information out there,” he said.

“I don’t live in Methven but I spend a lot of time up there and I felt it was important for the Methven people to get the information they weren’t getting.

“It’s a democracy and that’s what a referendum is all about.”

He said he had now moved on and he did not see the issue coming up again in Methven in the foreseeable future.

“It’s a decisive vote and it’s taken a long time for the Methven people to get a referendum,” he said.

“Whatever the decision, I have done my best.”