Fluoride debate full of surprises

The hotly debated topic of Fluoride dosing in Kāpiti was again on the agenda at the recent Council meeting.

After the case was put for and against there was sense of anticipation that a motion put by Cr Peter Daniel would pass. Earlier in the meeting the Mayor had said her grandchildren will not be given fluoridated water as her family was aware of the risks and had installed filters. This and the inclusion of Cr Lyndy McIntyre who had previously expressed concerns over fluoridating the water supply looked to tip the scales. With the likely votes of Crs Tony Jack, Sandra Patton and David Scott who all spoke against fluoridation, Cr Daniels motion that KCDC suspend fluoridation until it could be proven conclusively to be safe seemed certain to pass.

However when the votes were cast many were surprised to see Mayor Rowan had voted against the motion and Cr Scott had abstained.

Further motions from Cr McIntyre and Cr Jack that Fluoride dosing at the Waikanae Water Treatment Plant be reduced to the safer level of 0.7 mg/L from the current dosing target of 1.0 mg/L and to provide a supply of potable non-fluoridated water “as soon as possible” via spring-loaded taps in the vicinity of the Information Centre and Public Library at Ōtaki, and at the St Peter’s Hall in Paekākāariki was passed with only Crs Ammundsen, Chapman, Molineux and Ellis voting against.

Ōtaki and Paekākāariki residents are on separate water supplies which are not dosed with fluoride.

A final motion for Council staff to liaise with local health groups to provide information to families about the possible effects of fluoride on babies and young children, and to post on Council’s website information covering the possible effects of using fluoridated water in babies’ and infant’s formula was passed with only Cr Ellis voting against.