Lower Hutt Campaign
Mary Byrne explains why Petone’s water is non fluoridated, see short video.
Hutt Valley Fluoridation Information
What was the outcome of the 2015 Long Term Plan on the fluoridation issue?
3/10/15 – Representatives from Fluoride Free New Zealand, Fluoride Information Network of Dentists, Ministry of Health and Hutt Valley District Health Board were invited to attend a Discussion Forum with the council on 16th of September 2015. Mayor Wallace advised that the issue would be put on next year’s draft annual plan. This allows the public an opportunity for consultation with the public and the Council can then make a decision on whether or not they want to continue. This is expected to happen in December
What parts of Lower Hutt are fluoridated?
All of Lower Hutt is fluoridated except Petone and Korokoro. Petone and Korokoro are supplied from the Waterloo Pumping station which also supplies most of Lower Hutt, but fluoride is only added in the channels that provide the other areas leaving the water going to Petone and Korokoro nonfluoridated(via the Rahui reservoir).
Wainuiomata has its own water supply which is fluoridated and chlorinated. Part of Stokes Valley receive Upper Hutt water from the Twin Lakes.
What fluoride chemicals are used to fluoridate Lower Hutt’s water supply?
IXOM (formerly Orica) supplies Hydrofluorosilicic Acid H2SiF6 to be used in Waiunuiomata and Sodium silicofluoride is used at Waterloo.
What level is Lower Hutt fluoridated at?
Wellington Regional Council is responsible for carrying out fluoridation in the Wellington region which includes Lower Hutt. They fluoridate at the level recommended by Ministry of Health which is 0.7ppm – 1ppm. This means they aim at 0.85ppm
Where is the waste water for Lower Hutt discharged?
Waste water is discharged into the Wellington Harbour and possibly the Hutt River.
Is there a Resource consent for the discharge of fluoridation chemicals into the TBC?
To be advised.
Can you provide the section of the consent that permits?
To be advised.
Is there a Resource Consent held by Lower Hutt Council to add Hydrofluorosilicic Acid to the Lower Hutt’s water supplies?
To be advised.
How much per annum is spent on Hydrofluorosilicic acid?
To be advised.
How much per annum is spent on implementing water fluoridation?
To be advised.
How much per annum is spent on testing the levels of water fluoridation?
To be advised.
How much does it cost per Tonne of Hydrofluorosilicic Acid?
To be advised.
How many Tonne of Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is added into Lower Hutt’s shared environment?
To be advised.
How frequent is the levels of fluoride in the water tested?
To be advised.
Who performs the testing?
To be advised.
When did fluoridation begin in Lower Hutt and has there been any public consultation since beginning?
Fluoridation started in 1957. There was a consultation in Petone in 1999 which resulted in 70% of those polled (30% of households) saying they did not want fluoridation. Lower Hutt residents have never been asked.
11th September 2015
19th June 2013
Fluoride Free NZ members have continued to present submissions to the Council at Annual Plan Hearing time. This year it made the Hutt News page 55 and a little bit on page 5.
2nd of November 2011
Eight of the 13 Hutt City councillors (including the mayor) voted to reject the idea of a referendum but continue with fluoridation for Hutt City. See Hutt News – Protesters fail to halt fluoridation in Lower Hut
FANNZ has also sent the following letter to the Mayor and councillors that voted to retain fluoridation demanding that they answer some basic questions. Questions for Hutt City Councillors.doc
Fluoridation Position Statements of Hutt City councillors
HCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/2012 Submissions
The following people from the National Fluoride Information Service (now defunct 2015) attended both the Lower Hutt and Wellington City Council submission hearings:
Dr Stephen Palmer – Medical Officer of Health, Regional Public Health
Dr Robin Whyman – dentist, Regional Public Health (ex Oral Health Advisor for MoH)
Dr Neil Stephen – head of school dental clinics for New Zealand
Peter Gush – Service Manager Regional Public Health
There was also another woman at Lower Hutt from the DHB who sat with the team presenting. At Lower Hutt there were also another 7 or 8 people who had come along to support the pro-F team whom Stephen Palmer introduced as representatives from the NZ Dental Association.
Stephen Palmer started off both presentations by putting up Paul Connett’s power point and saying that he had reviewed it. After showing Paul’s slide that says fluoride is linked to a whole list of adverse health affects, Palmer’s next slide says that he has reviewed all the information he can safely say that Paul Connett’s data is … wait for it… complex! He then shows a slide with a whole lot of circles, and lines joining the circles, to give a visual on how complex it is. He then goes on to introduce all his esteemed colleagues and to let the councillors ask them questions. The whole strategy is to make the councillors feel that the subject is way too complicated for the mere lay councillor and that they should just put all their faith in these doctors and dentists as they are the only ones that are intelligent enough to understand such huge and complex information.
This seemed to work quite well in Wellington where only Cr Bryan Pepperell seemed to be prepared to challenge them. Maybe there are some other councillors who are not completely taken in by the “believe us we are the experts”, but I’m not aware of who they are.
In answering questions, Robin Whyman stated “the benefit from fluoride is topical” but went on to explain that we still need to swallow it because some washes past our teeth as we are swallowing the water and that because fluoride gets into our bloodstream that some then comes out of our saliva glands to provide a constant stream of fluoride to the teeth. This is where fluoridation meets Monty Python and if it wasn’t true it would make a great comedy sketch.
Whyman also explained that we shouldn’t compare ourselves with overseas data and the fact that dental health has improved in all the non-fluoridated countries of Europe is nothing to go by. We should instead focus on the Wellington Canterbury study that shows that children in Wellington (Wellington has the best dental health in the country) have, on average, one less decayed, missing or filled permanent tooth SURFACE (out of over 100 tooth surfaces) than children in unfluoridated Canterbury. This is so incredible it never fails to amaze me that we have so many councillors who will swallow this. What on earth is the matter with them?
The Hutt city councillors were better though, with a lot more intelligent questions. Palmer then offered that they could give the Council a two hour presentation that they gave to Regional Council in April. Mark Atkin has obtained a copy of Palmer’s presentation and is in the process of obtaining Whyman’s. Email Mary@fluoridefree.org.nz if you would like a copy.
24th March 2011
Presentation by Dr Paul Connett to Hutt City Council, at 4pm.
16th June 2009
Feature article in Hutt News about the Petone Fountain, which provides natural atresian water, and the reasons why thousands of people from around Wellington are flocking to it.
5th October 2008
The Wainuiomata Meeting went well with members of the Wainuiomata Marae stating that they had never been given both sides of the story. Regional Public Health gave the Case For Fluoridation with their Maori Oral Health Public Relations officer, Irirangi Mako, and the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Stephen Palmer being their presenters.
We were most surprised at the low quality of the Presentation by Regional Public Health. Irirangi Mako didn’t appear to know even the most basic of facts such as how fluoride is purported to reduce dental decay or be able to name any actual studies. She said she was relying on a Public Health issue called Hauora that was dedicated to Maori Health. The book contains less than 1 page on fluoridation. Ms Mako spent a good part of her ten minute presentation discussing Maori inequality in health. FANNZ does not argue that there is inequality in health, what we are saying is that fluoridation does not reduce dental decay and is harmful to people. People on low incomes are more likely to hurt by fluoridation than people on higher incomes as they are less likely to have a water filter or to take steps to source unfluoridated water – particularly for babies.
Dr Stephen Palmer, under good questioning from the audience, said “you have to remember, Regional Public Health has a contract with the Ministry of Health to promote fluoridation”. In other words, he was saying he was only doing his job or just following orders. We have this on video.
Despite FANNZ winning the debate hands down, the Wainuiomata Community Board has not seen fit to take any further action. Presumably they have some political reasons for this.
14 July 2008
The Wainuiomata Community Board has organized a public information forum on fluoridation. There will be speakers for fluoridation (as yet not identified) and speakers from FANNZ against. The majority of the time will be open to questions from the floor. We strongly encourage residents to attend this meeting, as this issue is very important to the health of everyone.
The meeting will be held on Thursday 31 July at 7pm at Wainuiomata Marae.
Mary Byrne and Mark Atkin promoted this event with a stand in the Wainui Mall, giving out free bottled Petone water. It was surprising to find that many residents go to the Petone fountain to get their water, and how many knew about the issues around fluoridation. Mary observed a major shift in awareness and position since the Petone campaign in 1999. It was clear that the anti-fluoridation view is increasingly becoming “mainstream” in the public mind.
We have made a submission to the Annual Plan that the issue off fluoridation be re-examined.
We are also aware that the pro-fluoridation lobby is working behind the scenes and disseminating false information to Councillors, for example claiming that the National Research Council review is not relevant to water fluoridation. (See statement by NRC panel members correcting this misinformation)
7th May 2008
In an unprecedented step, the Chairman of each of the Wainuiomata Community Board and the Eastbourne Community Board have denied the Hutt Fluoride Action Group the right to address either of these community board meetings. The Chairman of the Petone Community Board had obviously been put under some pressure as well and was told that any recommendations from the Petone Community Board in relation to possibly stopping fluoridation in Moera (under Petone Community Board jurisdiction) would not be taken up at any further Council committee. This is very unusual as the Local Government Act of 2002 states that the community boards are there to support the community even if that goes against the current policy of the larger Council. We have been told that there are some very strong people opposing any move to stop fluoridation in Lower Hutt. Note 1/8/08 – Wainuiomata Community Board Chairman advises that the Board decided not to air the issue at the community board meeting as they felt a public meeting would allow the issue to reach a far wider audience.
In response to the baby formula/fluoride warning FANNZ members approached the Hutt City Council Strategy and Policy Committee and requested that they pass on this warning to parents and caregivers in Lower Hutt. We asked that they request the Council fully investigate the issue.
The Hutt City Council responded by ordering a review of the situation by a Policy Analyst, Nicholas Kildare, working for Capacity. FANNZ was not informed that this report was being written. Capacity is a joint body that takes care of the water for both Hutt and Wellington City Councils. The resulting paper appeared to have been ghost-written by the Ministry of Health as it contained all the usual MOH spin including many inaccuracies and misleading statements. The analyst admitted it was completely biased. When asked why it was biased by a councillor he stammered “That’s a very difficult question for me to answer”. In spite of admitting that he did not have the etchnical knwoledge to assess the scientific information, he repeatedly responded to Councillor Style’s observation that the warning specified 0.7 ppm or higher with the satndard MoH spin “US allows up to 4ppm in the water”. This confirmed to us that Mr Kildare was misleading the Council on more than just the facts.
Official Information provided to FANNZ confirmed our suspicions. A string of over 30 emails had gone back and forth between the analyst and Health Authorities. Essentially, Dr Robin Whyman of the Ministry was travelling the globe at the time, picking up the latest pro-fluoride spin on the infant warning and feeding it back to Dr Stephen Palmer of Regional Public Health, who in turn fed it to the analyst. Health Authorities provided entire sections of text. Most telling was the response of Dr Whyman to the Executiev Summary of the final draft provided to him by Mr Kildare. (FANNZ was never supplied with this – we only saw it at the meeting.) The comment was ” This is too defensive. It needs to more clearly state [the Ministry’s] position”.
The paper basically said that the Hutt City Council should not pass on the warning as fluoride was good for teeth and that severe dental fluorosis had not increased in the past twenty years (never mind that dental fluorosis is now at 30% in fluoridated areas according to the MoH web site) and that the MoH didn’t think they should. Much of the information was copied direct from the web sites of pro-fluoride organisations like the British Fluoridation Society. No independant organisation was ever approached by Mr Kildare for their views.
FANNZ members were able to argue successfully that none of these reasons were good enough. Council Officers prepared a draft web statement. For reasons unknown they also approached Capacity again. Once again Capacity appears to have colluded with Health Authorities to produce an appalling page that was essentially a plug for fluoridation, and downplayed the warning. This was rejected by the Council.
The Hutt City Council is due to post the warning on its web site, with a link to FANNZ’ site as well as the ADA, CDC, and MoH.
When Capacity was formed we were advised categorically that it would play no role in fluoridation policy – our concerns were obviously well-founded
Indications are that MoH have commissioned their ‘hired gun’ Environmental and Scientific Research (ESR) to produce a bogus report the MoH can use to ‘justify’ denying the infant formula claim in NZ. ESR has a public position on fluoridation, and a $10 million a year conflict of interest on this issue (which is what they are paid each year by the MoH for various contracts).
As a result of this initiative by FANNZ members, a local group has formed in Lower Hutt to further press for cessation of fluoridation.
Lower Hutt was the first NZ city to fluoridate after the Hastings ‘experiment’, being the ‘personal crusade’ of Mayor Percy Dowse. His refusal to consult the local Ratepayers’s Association or the public led to the court case that went to the Privy Council.