Hokitika Campaign

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Fluoridation juggernaut halted in Westland


Annette King’s fluoridation juggernaut hit a brick wall in Hokitika on Thursday 2 June when the Westland District Council voted nine to two against fluoridating the district’s water supplies.

Most striking of the responses of councillors was that although they held a variety of personal views the majority of them rejected fluoridation because as one councillor put it, fluoridation seemed to be a matter of “the state versus the people” and that they were representing the clear majority opinion of their constituents who were opposed to it.

During the DHB propaganda campaign leading to the Grey District’s recent five-four decision to implement fluoridation, many concerns were raised about the health authority’s factually incorrect advertising, manipulation of submission forms, and slandering of people opposed to fluoridation, according to the Democrat’s social issues researcher David Tranter. This included the area dental officer Martin Lee’s media description of fluoridation opponents as having the mindset of Al Quaeda and the DHB’s factually incorrect advertising campaign. As a result of this several complaints are being considered including to the Ombudsman, the State Services Commission and the Human Rights Commission regarding health officials’ behaviour Mr. Tranter said. An action group has already been formed in Greymouth to fight their council’s decision.

Even after their routing in Hokitika the DHB are continuing their misleading propaganda campaign with their planning manager Kevin Hague claiming in the media that Westland councillors “had overwhelmingly endorsed fluoridation as safe and effective”. As one of those who sat through the entire hearing I can categorically state they did no such thing, Mr. Tranter said. There was certainly a variety of views expressed by councillors but to interpret this as an overwhelming endorsement again totally misrepresents what actually happened.

It was noted in particular that Martin Lee, key orchestrator of the current assault on democracy on the West Coast, was not able to repeat the lies he told to the Grey District Counil, where he was the last speaker, as he knew there were several well informed speakers after him in Hokitika who would expose those lies.