NZ Legislation on Fluoridation 2017
Legislation was introduced to Parliament on the 17th November 2016.The Health Select Committee received 1200 submissions and heard hundreds of people give oral presentations.
This Legislation will shift responsibility from the local councils and give it to the District Health Boards. It is designed to make it virtually impossible to stop fluoridation in currently fluoridated areas, or to keep it out of places that do not have it – even if they have said “no” to it in the past. Local Councils will be required to do as the DHB dictates or face a fine of $200,000 and a further $10,000 per day of non-compliance.
The Committee has reported back to Parliament with a few recommendations.
Download Select Committee Report (contains recommendations for amendments)
From here is goes to the House for a Second Reading. The Bill is passed into law once it has passed its Third Reading.
This Legislation does not allow for DHBs to consult with the community and it only allows a very narrow range for the DHBs to evaluate the subject as they will only be allowed to consider dental health in the community against the cost of fluoridation. They are being steered to only consider the 2009 Oral Health Survey rather than much more comprehensive data. They are not given any leeway to consider overall health effects.
As you will see from the transcript and related documents and the video footage of the MPs that spoke at the first Reading (5th of December 2016) – National, Labour and the Greens support the Bill. The Labour Party even want to strengthen the legislation by making it mandated by Central Government just in case a DHB tries to wriggle out of it. In a press release in December 2016, Labour also condemned the Maori Party for running a poll to find out what people think.
You will also see that none of the speakers know very much about the subject. Health Select Committee Chair Simon O’Connor mistakenly credits his good teeth on taking fluoride tablets as a child. Unbeknownst to him, the Ministry of Health no longer recommends fluoride tablets because we now know fluoride doesn’t work by swallowing and fluoride tablets cause dental fluorosis!
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who introduced the Bill, has called us “tin-foil hat wearing, UFO-abducted pseudo-scientists.” He mustn’t realise that he is insulting around half of the NZ population. Results from all referenda held in NZ show that people tend to vote status quo. As only half of the country is fluoridated (23 councils out of 67, not “27 councils have rejected fluoridation” as Peter Dunne incorrectly stated) which means that roughly half the population is opposed to fluoridation (or maybe more than half) and if a nationwide referendum was held tomorrow, we would have a good chance of winning.
The NZ First Party thinks the issue should be decided by local referendum.
The Greens support the Bill regardless of the opposition within the party. They refuse to meet with anyone opposed.
How to stop the Legislation
People need to write to all MPs and ring or meet with their local MPs and candidates. Let these people know why it is that you are opposed to this Bill and why you are opposed to fluoridation.
Let politicians know we will not vote for them if they introduce this draconian legislation.
Health Select Committee Members
Simon O’Connor, Chairperson, National Party, Tāmaki
Barbara Kuriger, Deputy-Chairperson, National Party, Taranaki-King Country
Melissa Lee, Member, National Party, Waitaki
Julie Anne Genter, Member, Green Party, List
David Clark, Member, Labour Party, Dunedin North
Sarah Dowie, Member, National Party, Invercargill
Scott Simpson, Member, National Party, Coromandel
Ria Bond, Member, NZ First, List
Poto Williams, Member, Labour Party, Christchurch East
In the Media
7th June 2017 Fluoridation: the greatest good for the greatest number
17th November 2016 Press Release Jonathan Coleman and Peter Dunne
13th April 2016 Bill reopens fluoridation debate
12th April 2016 DHBs could make call on fluoridation
Local Government New Zealand’s response to amendments to the Act
Ministry of Health’s position statement on current proposed Legislation
Legislative Disclosure Statement from the Ministry of Health.
Regulatory Impact Statement – Transferring decision making
MoH Report Summarising Submissions to the Select Committee