Hamilton Stop Fluoridation Campaign

Quick Facts: Hamilton started fluoridation in 1966. It was using hydrofluorosilicic acid bought from Orica NZ until June 2013 when it stopped after four day Tribunal Hearing where councillors voted 7 to 1 to stop. Referendum in 2013 gave 68% support from the 23% of people that voted. Councilors resolved in February 2014 to restart fluoridation but have so been hampered by legal objections.

Local contact:
Pat McNair Ph (07) 855-8162

Overview of the Hamilton Fluoridation Debate in 2013.

All candidates have been asked the following two questions:

1. What is your viewpoint regarding Water Fluoridation?
2. What has influenced your viewpoint about Water Fluoridation?
See our Candidates page for their responses.

The Hamilton Stop Fluoridation Campaign was succesfull with Hamilton city councillors voting 7 to 1 to stop fluoridation on the 5th of June 2013.  In 2006 a referendum was held where 70% of people voted FOR fluoridation. However only 38% of people voted.

Before the Summing up by both sides, councillors posed the following three questions to both sides. Do you agree:

1.    Fluoride works by topical application to teeth?
2.    There is no known benefit of fluoride to pre-eruptive teeth?
3.    Swallowing fluoride toothpaste is harmful to health?

Both sides agreed to all three questions; that fluoride works topically, ingesting fluoride toothpaste is dangerous and that there is no benefit to pre-erupted teeth. In other words, fluoride works by contact to the teeth ONLY.

See Reasons the Council gave for deciding to end fluoridation.

The entire Hamilton Tribunal Hearing is on the Hamilton City Council’s YouTube account.

Councillor Dave McPherson talks about the Tribunal process and his journey in the Fluoridation Debate

28th September 2013 Waikato Times Who’s right and wrong in Hamilton’s fluoride debate?”

28th September 2013 Waikato Times Hamilton Speaks We want fluoride

21st September 2013 Waikato Times Felicity Dumble Fluoride Opponent fakes DHB staffers facebook page

21st September 2013 Waikato Times Hamilton’s Fluoride decision creates more jobs

19th September 2013 Waikato Times Fluoride bullies force meeting no show

14th September 2013 Waikato Times Candidates take stands on fluoride issue

9th September 2013 Waikato Times Anti-fluoride billboard divides dentists

23rd August 2013 Waikato Times Anti fluoride campaigner tries to silence science – note this person was not associated with Fluoride Free Hamilton and newspaper were advised, but never printed a retraction

23rd August 2013 Hamilton Press Fluoride Group Praises Council

19th August 2013 Waikato Times Editorial Fluoride – Facts versus Fiction

16th August 2013 Waikato Times DHB fumes over HCC’s anti-fluoride fliers

13th August Waikato Times Dentist Slam Hamilton City Council’s anti-fluoride pamphlet

4th July 2013 Waikato Times Fluoride referendum voters will get their say

4th July 2013 Waikato Times Fluoride decision pending signatures

Waikato Times 1st July 2013 Fluoride supporters signing up

Scoop 26th June 2013 DHB Member Says Its Time to Move On

Waikato Times 25th June 2013 Fluoride petition to be printed in Waikato Times

Waikato Times 25th June 2013 Hamilton-wide fluoride referendum to be debated.

Waikato Times 20th June 2013 Hamilton’s fluoride switch ready to be flicked

Waikato Times 15th June 2013 Gallagher backing fluoride referendum Note: we were advised by Cr Gallagher that this is defintely not what he said the to the Waikato Times

Campbell Live 14th June 2013 Should fluoride be put to a referendum?

Waikato Times 14th June 2013 PM back fluoride as calls for referendum grow

TV One 13th June 2013 Push for fluoridation referendum in Hamilton

City News June 2013 Council notification about fluoridation ending

Waikato Times 8th June 2013 Fluoride debate Public disagrees with Council

NZ Herald 7th June 2013 Mary Byrne Against fluoridation Opinion Piece

Stuff National 7th June 2013 Judith Collins slams city council

Campbell Live 6th June 2013

TV1 6 o’clock News 6th June 2013

Campbell Live 5th June 2013

TV1 News 10 o’clock news 5th June 2013

Hamilton City Council 5th June 2013 Hamilton to end fluoride in water

NZ Herald 2nd June 2013 Pull-outs tip balance in fluoride vote

Waikato Times 29th May 2013 Hamilton health experts bare teeth over fluoride

Waikato Times 28th May 2013 Fluoride Opponent: It’s a done deal

Waikato Times 22nd February 2013 The Case Against Fluoride

Waikato Times 2nd February 2013 Opinion Piece

Waikato Times 21st January 2013 Fluoride Debate Fuelled

New Zealand Herald 11th June 2012 Council Axes Fluoride Referendum

Waikato Times 11th April 2011 Fluoride Back on the Agenda

May 2013 – A huge response to the Hamilton Fluoridation Tribunal Hearing:

  • 1557 submissions received
  • 170 support the continuation of fluoride
  • 1385 support the stopping of fluoride
  • 2 had no stance (commented on process or mandate of council to decide)

This represents a whopping 89% wanting fluoridation stopped.  Council originally recieved 141 requests to speak. 130 wanting fluoridation stopped and only 11 wanting it continued. Most of the 11 people were dentists or dental therapists. .

According to Hamilton City Council:

A total of 984 submitters indicated they were Hamilton residents or ratepayers. A further 74 submitters indicated they were Hamilton water users (but not ratepayers or residents).

The key reasons for submitters wanting Council to stop the fluoridation of the Hamilton water supply were around individuals having the right to choose what they ingest (994), the links between fluoride to a number of illnesses, risks and harm (807) and the perception that fluoride is considered ineffective (741).

Of those wishing Council to continue to fluoridate the water supply (170), the key reasons were the perception that fluoridating the water supply is a cost-effective population-based strategy to prevent dental cavities (124), that there is scientific research to support fluoridation (45) and people citing their own experiences with the benefits (or problems due to the lack) of fluoride (46).

Fluoride Free Hamilton Newsletters:

22nd June 2013

28th February 2013 – details about Fluoridation Tribunal

Tribunal Process for Consultation

Hamilton city councillors have decided on a Tribunal style process as the method for consulting residents on whether they would like to stop fluoridation.

Submissions will be accepted from the 1st of March to the 2nd of April.  People can say if they would like to speak or not.

The Hearing will be held on the 28th and 29th of May 2013 and maybe the 30th of May if there are lots of people wanting to speak. There will also be 1 hour for each side to give a primary presentation plus each person who said on their submission that they would like to speak, will be given ten minutes. .

Public Consultation or Referendum in HCC Long Term Plan

Fluoridation was the 3rd most popular topic submitted to the Hamilton City Council for the 2011/2012 draft Annual Plan with over 100 submissions. An afternoon was set aside to hear from all the people who wished to speak to their submission. It kicked off with Dr Peter Scanlon (Poisoning Paradise fame) followed by Dr Vernon Kruger (local dentist) and then all the other Hamiltonians.  This has resulted in a very successful outcome with Cr Dave McPherson successfully tabling an amendment to include a referendum or public consultation on stopping the addition of fluoride to the city water supply in the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan.  Well done all, next year will be the year for Hamilton unless anyone can convince the Council to turn off the fluoride in the meantime.

Notes from the meeting:

Motion:                              (Her Worship the Mayor/Cr Westphal)

That Council continue the practice of adding fluoride to Hamilton’s water supply in the target range of 0.7 mg/l and 0.8 mg/l.

Amendment:                     (Crs Macpherson/Gower)

That Council signals the intention to consult, including the possibility of a referendum, concerning the removal of artificial fluoridation from Hamilton’s water supply as part of the 2012/2022 Long Term Plan.

Those for                                 Her Worship the Mayor, Councillors Bell, Chesterman, Forsyth, Gallagher, Gower, Hennebry, Mahood,   the Amendment:                      O’Leary, Westphal and Wilson.

The Amendment was declared carried.

The Amendment as the Motion was then put and declared carried on the voices.

Friday, 29 April 2011, 4:34 pm Press Release:Hamilton City Council

Record number of Annual Plan submissions received
More than 1600 submissions have been received for Hamilton City Council’s Proposed 2011/12 Annual Plan. In total 1605 submissions were received during the period from 21 March to 21 April 2011 – making it Council’s biggest Proposed Annual Plan/LTCCP submission process in over 10 years.

The main issues referred to in the submissions include the proposed cycling velodrome (over 900 submissions), the proposed Hamilton to Auckland passenger train service (over 200 submissions), requests to remove fluoride from Hamilton’s water supply (over 100 submissions) and the establishment of Council Controlled Organisations (over 30 submissions)……..Hearings for submissions have been set down for 10-12 May. The submissions will be made available at www.hamilton.co.nz/apsubmissions by Wednesday. The total number of submissions received during the 2010/11 Annual Plan process was 184.

Hamilton Press 13 April 2011

Waikato Times 11th April 2011

Saturday, 16th April 2011

Public meeting and presentation by world leading fluoridation expert, U.S. Prof Emeritus Paul Connett: 2pm – 4pm, at Celebrating Age Centre, Victoria St South.

Workshop with Paul Connett at Hamilton City Council, 10.30am: open to public.

Sign the Petition! Send this link to everyone you know in Hamilton.

Stop Fluoridation Petition Launched in Hamilton

Download this for a paper based copy and ask friends and family to sign Hamilton Stop Fluoridation Petition.doc



A huge amount of work was done in Hamilton in 2003 presenting information to the Hamilton City Council and getting out in the community spreading information.

A Council meeting was held where campaigners presented the anti-fluoridation position while the Ministry flew someone in from Wellington to support the local DHB representative in giving the “pro” side – with the standard issue PowerPoint presentation. The presenter couldn’t even get dates and basic facts right, and obviously knew nothing of the subject – just parroting the propaganda she had been fed.

Because of the pressure exerted both by these campaigners and some of the councillors, the Hamilton City Council agreed to commission an independent report of the fluoridation issue. However they actually organised for one of their officers to do it. It all looked very hopeful with the scientist, Marcus Shipton, being supplied with a huge amount of research material which he seemed eager to study. We thought that the council would then vote to have a referendum on the issue at the next local body elections.

But not to be. The report was appalling:

  • It failed to cover the issues raised before the council – contamination of the substance used (HFA) and lack of any human health safety testing;
  • It failed to give a single scientific reference to substantiate any of the standard generalisations used in promotional propaganda;
  • It completely misrepresented the York Review findings – in spite of Mr Shipton having the public statement by the chairman of the review board;
  • And in the absence of facts, recited the usual references to “reputable world bodies” who support fluoridation to hide the report’s total ineptitude.

The Hamilton City Council voted 6 to 5 to remain with fluoridation.

Campaigners will continue to work in Hamilton. We commend those councillors who have already stood up against this misguided practice. It only needs one more councillor to change their mind and Hamilton will go the other way. It only needs one more councillor to realise that people have a fundamental right to decide what they drink and what medication they take.

So the battle is on: what can you do to end fluoridation and protect your own health?

Hamilton remains fluoridated, but the issue will be raised for the local body elections in 2004.