… When it came to the fluoridation of water, businesswoman Kalaadevi Ananda did not believe there was a need to fluoridate water for everyone.
“The purer the water is the better it is. My solution is to provide fluoride tablets to those who need them.”
Rania Sears said her personal view was to “keep it pure” but she “would love” to look into the issue further.
“Whatever we don’t have to put in [the water] we should leave out.”
Macpherson said fluoridation of water was not actually in the council’s jurisdiction.
“I will leave it to the Ministry of Health to make decisions in keeping with [health advice].”
Tapsell said she was not a scientist but she did listen to scientists.
“Many of our young people have appalling conditions for dental and teeth care. If it means I have to get a filter but we will save a generation … then I will be happy to support [fluoridation] coming through.”
Both Sandford and Tabuteau said personal views were irrelevant to the issue.
“This question has been asked of Rotorua residents for decades and every time they’ve said, ‘No’,” Tabuteau said.
He said his position would be to ask residents what they wanted in the water.
Sandford said the Government had actually taken the decision away.
“It’s not about what we can do personally. There doesn’t seem to be room for advocacy. The Ministry of Health has made a decision. There will be fluoride in the water.”
Sandford said he could see the benefit of fluoridation as its presence in the water could prevent long-term dental issues.
On the issue of Three Waters, all candidates but Sandford declared at the meeting that they were opposed.
Sandford said it was important to look at the nuances of the Three Waters reforms.
“There’s good in it and there’s bad in it. It’s not just one or the other.
“By saying no to it full stop we lose the ability to make changes beneficial to our community.”
Sandford said the issue was the need for more investment in water infrastructure.
“If this is the only way forward that is feasible then we need to advocate on the points we can win to make sure our community is going to be better.”