Far North Say No to Fluoride

Far North Campaign 

Northland Watch have organised a group to oppose fluoridation in the Far North. Go to their website Say NO to FNDC putting fluoride in our water supply, to find out what’s happening and to connect with them.  

May 2010 – Big Win for the Far North – Fluoridation will NOT be reintroduced.

May 2010 update: The Far North District Council has voted unanimously not to reintroduce fluoridation to Kaitaia and Kaikohe. Congratulations to all who worked to make this happen, and commendations to the councillors for voting to respect freedom of choice.

Far North District Council media release, 18 May 2010

Thumbs down to fluoride Kaitaia and Kaikohe participants in a Far North District Council fluoridation survey have rejected fluoridation of their water supplies.

Of the 816 responses received, a total of 327 demonstrated support for fluoridation and 489 declared their opposition. In Kaitaia there were 231 votes in support and 298 against, while in Kaikohe 96 votes were in support and 191 against.

The council sent out around 5000 fluoridation forms to water bill payers and occupiers in both communities in late March-early April, asking people to tick one of two options – either that they supported fluoridation of council owned water supplies, or they opposed it.

The targeted survey of one form per household closed on April 30 and the votes have since been collated and independently assessed.

The results will be considered by the council during its annual plan deliberations on May 26 and 27. In February this year, the council resolved that it would abide by the majority vote.


June 10, 2010: The Bay Chronicle – letter to the editor May 5, 2010: Northland Age reports on cheating council

Far North Campaign history:


Northern Advocate – concern raised over referendum

The FNDC has failed to send voting forms on fluoridation to all eligible voters. Do not allow the FNDC to refuse to give you your right to vote in their poll.

If you do not have one, DOWNLOAD THE VOTING FORM here, fill it in, and take it personally to the FNDC.

If they refuse to accept it, INSIST they stamp it as received and refused, keep it, and advise us.

Due to the unlawful way this vote has been organised by the FNDC, we will challenge it if it goes the wrong way, but we will need those rejected votes.

FNDC issues voting forms without warning

In late March, the FNDC sent out voting forms that did not comply with the legally required format.

The forms and associated documents were biased toward a vote for fluoridation. FANNZ will challenge this vote in need.

More importantly, having said the NDHB and FANNZ would have to disseminate information for and against fluoridation, the FNDC sent out forms secretly – we only found out when people started receiving them.

Far North District Council decide on referendum for Kaikohe and Kaitaia – Feb 2010

See the Northern Advocate for details.

Northern Advocate report on FNDC fluoridation debate

Also see recent letters to editor:  Northland Age 2 Feb 2010  Northland Age 11 Feb 2010

Report on fluoridation experiment released and critiqued – December 2009

The Northland DHB released its report on its medical experiment on the people of Kaitaia and Kaikohe on 26 November.

FANNZ has critiqued this report.

In summary:

  • The fluoridating equipment never worked and never delivered the required level of fluoride
  • There were increases and decreases in dental health in both fluoridated and unfluoridated communities
  • The best improvement was in an unfluoridated area
  • There were numerous dental health programmes conducted during the trial, which were likely the cause of any benefit
  • The “literature review” was completely biased, with sound studies finding no benefit from fluoridation omitted, while unsound studies claiming benefit were included. Two NZ studies were falsely described as showing a benefit when they did not.

30th August 2009

Fluoridation has still not been restarted in the Far North.  The Northland District Health Board (NDHB) are threatening to release their long-promised survey results and they have started consulting with Iwi in the area. Citizens need to remain vigilant for when the NDHB take the issue back the Council.

Fluoridation threat resumed – 30 April 2009

On 30 April the FNDC will consider proposals regarding continuation of the fluoridation experiment on the people of Kaitaia and Kaikohe. Options for consideration include permenent implementation of fluoridation, in contravention of the undertakings given in the Long Term Plan. The 30 April meeting pre-empts submissions on the Plan.

The Ministry of Health is bringing, at taxpayers’ expense, some of its ‘Big Guns’ (Martin Lee and Robin Whyman) to this meeting, to provide an hour of propaganda.

Meanwhile, public meetings were held in Kaitaia and Kaikohe on April 28 and 29, with assistance from FANNZ. Both meetings resolved to request the FNDC to stop fluoridation permanently.

Fluoridation suspended – 31 March 2009

Fluoridation has temporarily ceased in Kaitaia and Kaikohe. But a further “2 year trial” is being considered by the FNDC on 30 April.

Health Board researchers mislead the ethics committee

Official information reveals that the “researchers” misled the Ethics Committee to get ethics approval.

In the NDHB’s application to the Ethics Committee the researchers state that “Te O Runanga O Te Rarawa were the forefronters along with the Far North District Council, Hone Harawira – Maori MP for Tai Tokerau and Northland DHB staff who have jointly decided that appropriate monitoring of the effectiveness of fluoridation at Kaitaia and Kaikohe be carried out.”

However, the submission to FNDC from Te Rarawa shows they were not the “forefronters” but were actually one of the main opponents. Likewise, the submission from the Maori Party Hiku Branch shows they were against the trial too!!

The researchers also claimed that the FNDC had implemented fluoridation as a public health measure, and the NDHB simply came along afterwards and were conducting an observational study, rather than an intervention study. The “researchers” have completely failed to meet ethics requirements for an intervention study.

The fact is that the NDHB colluded with the former FNDC to implement this fluoridation trial, and paid for it.

An email from Neil Croucher to the FNDC’s CEO (dated 12 August 2007) perpetuates the deception. He has this to say about the trial-

“It is unfortunate that the word ‘trial’ continues to be repeated in the media but as we both know the ‘trial’ is not related to the question of whether fluoridation is safe and effective (that has already been proven through over 60 years of scientific research [- NOT according to the York Review – ed]), more so that it refects a period of time during where it was agreed that a Northland DHB would be closely monitoring the oral health status of populations receiving fluoridated water and non-fluoridated water in the FNDC area.”

The FNDC minutes tell the real story:

“Report from general Manager, Water, Wastewater, and Refuse 17 March 2009.

Item 9.2 – Fluoridation – Kaitaia and Kaikohe water supplies.

At the Utilities Committee meeting held on 20 July 2006, it was resolved that the Committee:

  • “Confirms its support for the installation of fluoridation in the Kaitaia and Kaikohe public water supply areas on a 2 year trial basis, and
  •  Agrees that the fluoridation of public water supplies in Kaitaia and Kaikohe be implemented on a 2 year trial basis, and
  • Agrees that the results of the monitoring of the trial by Northland Health are utilised in establishing Council’s approach for the fluoridation of any further drinking water supplies.”

The 2 year trial will end on 31 March 2009 and therefore the fluoridation of the water supplies will cease on that date pending further consideration by the Council…”

Behind the scenes at the FNDC

Email from the FNDC’s Communications Manager Alison Lees to Croucher and Clare Blackburn (7 March 2007):

“Good afternoon, We would really appreciate a show of support for fluoridation, either from you or the Ministry or both. We are bearing the brunt of it all right now and it feels rather isolated, particularly as it’s all anti and there are no pro fluoride voices to be heard. You may not be aware that behind the scenes we are being investigated by the Ombudsman and the Auditor General plus every day we get a barrage of letters. It would be helpful if the reasons for fluoridation and why it’s particularly needed in the Far North could be enunciated with a little more vigour! This is not for us to do. The Ministry is funding the project after all. Thanks. Alison”

For a Council Officer to work behind the scenes this way to to pursue a personal agenda constitutes misfeasance in public office. This person should be dismissed, in our view.

The beginnings of the trial

The bogus fluoridation “trial” began in the Far North on Saturday 31 March 2007. The Far North District Council insists that it is entitled to go ahead with woefully inadequate consultation, and no mandate from the people. The reality is that one man, the Chair of the Transport, Drainage, and Utilities committee, has acted without lawful authority to impose a medical experiment on the populations of Kaikohe an Kaitaia, backed by the arrogant might of the FNDC.

Secret contract between the Far North District Council and the Northland DHB revealed!

Although asking a handful of residents about a 2 year trial, the FNDC in fact has committed to a 10 year contract to keep the fluoridation plant running – a contract that apparently even some Councillors did not know about at the time. Ratepayers will be paying about $23,000 per year for the fluoride they never wanted after the first two years (paid by NDHB). If the FNDC stops the plant before 10 years it will have to pay a penalty, at ratepayers’ expense, to the NDHB equal to 1/10th of the capital cost (about $28,000) for each remaining year – UNLESS a public referendum votes fluoridation out. The FNDC doesn’t want to run a referendum, so it looks like the public will need to run its own unless the FNDC can be forced to meet its responsibilities. Both avenues are being investigated.

The following letter a sent to the Northland Age on 24 April 2008:

To respond to LR Martin (“The same question” April 17), the answer is yes, I have seen a few cases of mild dental fluorosis where the teeth are mottled with white and yellow areas. Very noticeable in fact.This is caused by fluoride overdosing.Also, the American Dental Association and other agencies have issued warnings that fluoridated water is unsafe for babies because of the risk of dental fluorosis,which apparently doesn’t exist if you beleive LR Martin. The warning applies to NZ as well, as it applies to the same level of fluoride. The NZ MoH acknowledges dental fluorosis (unlike LR), but tries to downplay it by saying its effect is only cosmetic (fluoride poisoning). Where high excessive natural fluoride levels exist in parts of the world, skeletal fluorosis is a major problem too.The people of Kaikohe and Kaitaia have been denied the right to decide whether they want fluoridation or not, in a referendum. The MoH have craftily set it up with their 10 year subsidy signed with the FNDC so that a referendum result showing that a majority of ratepayer respondents oppose fluoridation is needed to stop fluoridating anytime before 10 years, yet one is not needed to continue on with it after the 2 year trial period. That decision remains solely in council’s hands, due to their previous resolution.The public were led to beleive that it was for a 2 year period only and then the communities could decide on its continuance. Remember that it was never started as a result of a referendum either, only a phone poll result of 600 where 311 or so people got to decide for everyone affected. This was done because the MoH/NDHB couldn’t get any conclusive community mandate from previous surveys.Because fluoride has been well documented to delay tooth eruption (and therefore decay rates) the WHO recommends comparisons on 12 year olds (as the temporary “benefit” has well worn off by then). Why then are the NDHB’s trial parameters using only the 5-6 year olds data? “Good” results however temporary and misleading will be used by the health authorities to manipulate the FNDC into voting to continue on with the programme. When you think about it, it makes no difference about trial results after 2 years, when the FNDC have already signed a Subsidy Agreement committment for a10 year period anyway!!The questions to be asked are “Whatever happened to democracy?” and “Why have the communites rights been trampled on here?” When central and local government can impose sodium fluoride medication so easily on us through our public water supplies, then we have to do something about it.The Canterbury DHB tried to use the same 5-6 year olds data to justify re-fluoridating Ashburton, however it never worked for them as the ratepayer referendum provided by their council resulted in majority opposition to fluoridation. The truth about the stats was exposed to the council and the public, along with the scientifically proven harm to health from fluoridation and how fluoridation takes away people’s right to choose their medication.The FNDC still seems reluctant to rescind their previous decisions and to provide a referendum for our Kaikohe and Kaitaia communites. The other option is for the communities to organise their own referendum at their own cost. Otherwise this thing could easily play out to its pre-determined conclusion. It will also increase the threat of the future fluoridation of our remaining far north public water supplies, as the NDHB want to fluoridate us all, and in particular they have targetted our maori children for this, despite there being strong opposition from maori to fluoridation and to the lack of consultation and engagement from the FNDC.Jackie Pou Citizen’s Collective for Fluoride-Free Water Rawene, Western Ward.

Health risks

  • Some of you will be using infant formula to feed your babies – they are at a serious health risk from fluoridated water.
  • Your sons between the ages of 6 and 10 face a 500—700% increased risk of developing bone cancer, with a 50% fatality
  • Some of you will be allergic or hypersensitive to fluoride, with a range of possible reactions from mild to life-threatening.

Infant Formula Danger

It is imperative that infant milk formula NOT be made up with fluoridated water. This warning was issued in November 2006 by the American Dental Association.

This warning is repeated in the report to the NZ Standard 2.9.1, which sets the maximum level of fluoride in formula powder. The most important thing to know is that it is the fluoridated water itself that overdoses the child. This is confirmed by both the ADA and the NZ Report. The fluoride in the powder just makes things even worse! With the formula having the maximum tolerable limit of fluoride (31/2 times that of the US) and the water overdosing the infant as well, the ADA’s warning is even more relevant to NZ and extremely important because:

  • Fluoride exposure during the first year of life increases the risk of dental fluorosis far more than at any other age.
  • The risk is as much to the permanent teeth as it is to the “baby teeth”.
  • Fluorosis weakens the teeth and causes decay.
  • Fluorosis can require ongoing expensive dental treatment – that you have to pay for.


If you give your children milk formula they are at risk of dental fluorosis, which may impose a lifetime of expensive dental treatment.

It is our view that you have the right to require the Far North District Council to provide you with unfluoridated water for this purpose, at their cost, not yours.

Young Boys at Cancer Risk

Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) accounts for about 3% of cancers, primarily in children. It is, however, the most common form of childhood cancer. It typically appears in the teens. 50% of sufferers die. The remainder generally need affected limbs amputated to survive. In NZ, evidence is that 3 out of 4 male deaths are caused by fluoridation.

The definitive study, conducted by Dr Elise Bassin in 2001, suppressed until 2005, showed clearly that teenage osteosarcoma in males increased by 500—700% if they were exposed to fluoridated water specifically between the ages of 6 and 10. Outside those ages there is no identifiable risk. This study is backed up by two population studies, one by the US Public Health Service.

The DHB will deny any risk, claiming that the Bassin study is the only one reaching its conclusion, and many other studies showed no link. In fact those studies did not examine an age-related connection. They considered the irrelevant matters of fluoridation exposure at the time of diagnosis, perhaps 10 years after it matters, or random total lifetime exposure. These results are consistent with the Bassin study.


It is our view that you have the right to require the Far North District Council to provide you with unfluoridated water for this purpose, at their cost, not yours.

Do You have a Hypersensitivity to Fluoride?

Scientific research indicates that between 1 and 5 % of the population is allergic or especially sensitive to fluoride, just as there is a percentage of people allergic to even common foods. In every community that has been fluoridated, a typical range of symptoms appear within about two weeks. Cases were documented in Hastings, after the original fluoridation trial began in 1954. This even occurred in Windsor, Canada, that was secretly fluoridated—so it wasn’t auto-suggestion.

The same symptoms can occur in people of normal tolerance. If you have impaired kidney function for any reason, including nothing more unusual than old age, you may develop these symptoms as your body steadily accumulates fluoride it cannot eliminate (50% of ingested fluoride is stored in the bones to get it out of the bloodstream, even in healthy people.)

The most common symptoms are listed below. Doctors are not trained in diagnosing fluoride-induced reactions, as they are taught, incorrectly, that these do not occur. If you have experienced any of these symptoms since fluoridation began, and the symptoms do not go away with any form of treatment, you may wish to consider being tested for fluoride allergy. We recommend you start by drinking and cooking with unfluoridated water for at least 2-4 weeks (Accumulated fluoride will be mobilised into your blood for elimination once you stop drinking fluoridated water – you “fluoridate” yourself for a time. Make sure you take unfluoridated water to work or if visiting friends during the trial. If the symptoms disappear, you may wish to undergo medical testing for allergy. We can arrange for such testing.

Common symptoms:

  • Gastric disturbances
  • Stomach cramps
  • Spastic or painful bowel
  • Sometimes haemorrhaging
  • Migraine-like headaches
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Muscular weakness, especially the arms and legs
  • Painful joints
  • Excessive thirst, especially in the morning or after drinking fluoridated water (polydipsia)
  • Excessive urine/dryness in the mouth (polyuria)
  • Mental confusion or inability to concentrate
  • Malaise, tiredness, depression
  • Skin disorders

San Antonio, Texas, 2002

See the San Antonio Express News (26 July 2002) A poor family with children hypersensitive to fluoride was eventually provided with a filter free of charge, while other poor inhabitants were not. The three children were all medically diagnosed with fluoride allergy, exhibiting at a daily intake of 1.5 mg fluoride. (This was before fluoridation). Their doctor prescribed fluoride-free water once the supply was fluoridated ,as it was about to be. The mother did not suffer the allergy. The family could not afford a filter. Eventually, after representations to the Mayor, one was provided.

It is our view that you have the right to require the Far North District Council to provide you with unfluoridated water if you are hypersensitive, at their cost, not yours.