Councillors Elected in 2013

Councillor For Referendum Yes/NO Our thoughts on their Position
Julie Hardaker Yes Has publicly declared that she will abide by the result of the referendum.
Ewan Wilson Yes Started the petition to have the referendum
Dave Macpherson For Has publicly declared that she will abide by the result of the referendum. Was the councillor that put forward the motion for the referendum
Gordon Chesterman Don’t know Voted to stop fluoridation at the Tribunal. Voted against having a referendum
Margaret Forsyth Don’t know Voted to stop fluoridation at the Tribunal. Voted against having a referendum<
Rob Pascoe Probably Said he strongly agrees with fluoridation
Angela O’Leary Don’t know Voted to stop fluoridation at the Tribunal. Voted against referendum.
Andrew King Yes Stated publicly that he would abide by the results of the referendum.
Leo Tooman Don’t know Don’t know
Mallett Don’t know Don’t know
Yeung Don’t know Don’t know
Green Don’t know Don’t know


Mayoral Candidate Fluoridation Agree Yes/NO Influence on Opinion
Julie Hardaker Disagree I voted to remove fluoride after the Tribunal process. I obtained my information by reading the submissions, listening to the submitters, and doing my own research.
Tony Dixon Disagree My views of the use of fluuride in water are well known and well researched. I believe we have a hard enough job providing clean drinkable water to our people without needing to consider doctoring it for a supposedly healthy purpose. I oppose fluoridation on two grounds. Firstly, on moral grounds. I believe it is against an individual’s rights to have mass medication forced upon them. Secondly, on ethical grounds. Even if there are health benefits involved, adding it to the water supply means that laypeople are administering a drug. Your GP does not have the ability to force you to take medicine, even if they have examined you and made that recommendation. Further your GP cannot force people who are not their patients to take the same drug. It is ethically wrong to allow laypeople to have that right. On this basis alone, I oppose any medical “contamination” of our water supply. This then precludes other groups who might claim, and with some justification, that adding vitamin D or Baking soda or whatever might have a positive health affect on the population. Further, I am not convinced that flouride has the benefits that people claim and I am concerned about the long term effects on Liver, kidneys and bone density. I do receive a wealth of information from a newsletter from Dr Mercola, which I am sure you will be aware of. If not, I recommend you subscribe, just google Mercola
Dave Macpherson Disagree See Mayoral Policy (5): Fluoride:
Crystal Beavis Agree The fact that fluorosilicic acid is a poison is not necessarily the end of the argument. For example, rat poison used in small quantities at pharmaceutical grade (warfarin) has hugely beneficial effects as an anti-clotting agent for a number of disorders. Medicine from foxgloves – digitalin – is used to control the heart rate in cases of arrhythmia. Atropine from deadly nightshade/mandrake plant families is used for cardiac arrest patients. And there are other examples of poisons that can have beneficial effect in minute quantities. I note that even the minority of doctors who are against fluoridation are actually calling for more research into the subject. Anything can be toxic at excessive levels – including water itself (abbreviated)
Ewan Wilson Strongly Agree Influenced by reading scientific research, friends or whanau, health authorities, dentists, doctors, and scientists
East Ward Candidate Fluoridation Agree Yes/NO Influence on Opinion
Gordon Chesterman Disagree My answer was at the Tribunal. Now that a small majority on council succeeded in getting that overturned with the referendum even though it is not binding, if re-elected I will support that decision
Margaret Forsyth Disagree Said at the Tribunal that she now had “sufficient doubt” about fluoridation.
Roger Hennebry Disagree Has declared himself anti-fluoridation for many years
Jim Parlane Somewhat disagree People only need trace amounts of it and they can most likely get enough from toothpaste. They should have the choice rather than having it added to water on mass when most of the water is not consumed by people, it is poured down the drain to pollute the environment. Most people only drink a litre of water a day but they use 90 litres for other things. Own experience growing up on a property without flouridated water and being given ” F-tabs” as a child. The flouride should be put in the beer and fizzy drink where it will get to those who need it most..
Peter Humphreys Disagree I have never been in favour of adding fluoride to the drinking water. After the HCC had the Tribunal I was supportive of their stance to remove fluoride from the water. I think one thing that both sides were in agreement with was that topically fluoride does work. I would have preferred that the $47,000 spent on adding fluoride to the water, be spent on dental care for those who cannot afford dental care. I think right from the beginning we should have had the referendum. I don’t truly have an understanding of the science of this issue and those who do are contradicting each other. Roll on the referendum and let the community decide and make it binding
Basil Wood Disagree .
Matiu Dickson Undecided Influenced by all of the sources listed. I am widely read and follow the issue closely.
Charlie Gower . My position on fluoridation of Hamilton’s water is that the people of Hamilton have their say in what they want for their water supply, and it is not for council to overturn any democratically arrived at decision. If elected, I will abide by the results of the referendum.
Ian Hanley Very strongly agree Influenced by personal experience and reading
Rob Pascoe Strongly agree Influenced by health authorities, including World Health Organisation. Also dentists and doctors. Sat through part of the Tribunal, witnessed the Council decision and vote, grew up in Hamilton in the 1950’s preflouridation in a state house in Fairfield. Have a mouthful of dental implants and crowns (largely a product on non fluoridation according to my current and past dentists), whereas my offspring growing up Hamilton in the 1970’s and 1980’s have great teeth.
Jason Howarth Strong Agree Influenced by reading scientific research, dentists, doctors, scientists, friends or whanau
Ross MacLeod Strongly Agree I strongly agree with water flurodation, based on research papers I have read and the input of health and science professionals.
Jamie Strange Strongly Agree Influenced by dentists, health authorities, friends and whanau
Rex Bushall Agree ..
Anjum Rahman . I don’t feel comfortable answering question on complex topics in this simplified fashion. If you’d like to know my thoughts on fluoride, I’ve written about it at length on my website.”
West Ward Candidate Fluoridation Agree Yes/NO Influence on Opinion
Steve McLennan Disagree You’re probably going to agree and disagree with my answer. I’ve struggled with this but I do believe, as the WHO has said, that fluoride was one of the 3 top health advances of the 20th century. However, I do not think it’s right to forcibly medicate people. The argument that you can choose to install a rain water tank and not receive treated water is nonsense because if you wish to take or give your kids fluoride, it’s much cheaper and easier to take the tablets, as I did as a kid growing up on a farm. The further argument that the poor will not do that belittles the poor and perpetuates the idea that we have to be forced to be our brother’s keeper, rather than learning to look after ourselves. I really don’t know which way I’d vote on this but probably against public opinion, to keep it out of the water. I pay for my water through my rates and can’t choose to opt out, and I don’t like that
Russell Knaap Disagree .
Holly Snape Somewhat disagree Influenced by reading scientific research and Dr Ted Ninnes has influenced me on this topic. He is highly respectable, has researched the topic extensively and has produced high quality peer reviewed articles on the topic. He makes a very strong case why fluoride should not be in the water. I also believe that oral health needs to be considered a part of primary health and thus should be resourced, prioritized in community education and subsidised in the same way as General Practice is.
Angela O’Leary Somewhat disagree I participated in the tribunal hearing. I was able to hear evidence I had not heard before and based on this process, I supported the decision to remove fluoride from Hamilton’s water supply.
Russelle Knaap Strongly Disagree This is my personal view but that I would be guided by the opinion of HRR ASSN Inc when it came to voting as I am standing on their ticket. I am representing Residents and Ratepayers Assn Inc and would have to reflect their views. The current majority feeling (which hasn’t been canvassed officially) however is that the majority don’t agree with it. Common sense. If the Councils which fluoridate can show me current information that the adults in the areas who have grown up with fluoridated water, have significantly better teeth than those in areas that don’t, I would then seek more information. I have not seen that information to date. ‘Science’ always tells us anecdotal evidence is of no value. It should be simple to get data on the number of caries for any given age of school children as the govt pays for their fillings. My views are influenced by the internet, newspapers, friends or whanau and scientists
Roger Stratford Strongly Disagree Influenced by books – reading Fluoride Deception (Bryson), scientists – Prof. Alan Langdon, Phys Chem lecturer, Waikato and Fluoride Tribunal & debates.
Robin Fletcher Very Strongly Disagree I was very influenced by Dr John Colquhoun, who we all know was a dentist himself and for some time was a supporter of fluoride in city water. He also was a Councillor in Auckland and strongly advocated for water fluoridation, which became a reality. As we know he discovered the truth about fluoride and tried really hard to let people know this truth, which was “if its not giving any benefit, which is what they thought it was, whats the point of campaigning for it.” It seems that we have been lied to in regards to water fluoridation results in better children’s teeth, when compared with places with no fluoridation. I also read about the experiment in Hastings 1952, where Napier was the ideal control however there was fewer tooth decay in the controlled area, even with the dental practitioners (dental nurses) at the time who were instructed with their changes of detecting tooth decay. The list can go on, but I have tried to seek-out reputable evidence. Most of this has been done on the internet. When I have spoken to dentists they have been in support of fluoride, and after listening to Dr John Colquhoun on YouTube it makes sense that he is right. At dental school they are taught that fluoride is good, and no one dares to say otherwise.
Josh King Disagree I say ‘if in doubt, leave it out’. However, if elected I would respect the results of the referendum.
Stephen King Disagree The validity of those for and against and the debate of the evidence goes on and on, if you look at the research you will find evidence and literature reviews to support both stand points. Topical application is acknowledged and accepted by both camps as the only benefit and no one is arguing for ingestion. To err on the side of caution and minimise the long term risks sounds like good common sense to me. This is more about the medical fraternity saving face and an attitude of ‘doctor knows best’ with health authority governance and bureaucrats being required to toe the policy line. Council tribunal hearings and decision making process were made a farce by Ewan Wilson and other incumbent councillors seeking to curry favour for the election campaign. A primary and public health initiative would seem a better investment targeting communities with lower levels of oral health where children can get a clear and resounding message on how to keep and maintain healthy teeth. A REFERENDUM, now in the hands of the people, is a good thing, and I will support the outcome. I’m for personal choice and common sense. I’m against fluoridation.” .
Arshad Chatha . It is Hamiltonian issue and I will go along with majority. Influenced by newspapers, reading scientific research, friends or whanau and health authorities.
Paul Ravlich Very Strongly Agree Influenced by internet, newspapers, health authorities, dentists, doctors, scientists
Andrew Warren Strongly Agree Influenced dentists
Tureiti Moxon Very Strongly Agree Influenced by dental nurses working in area’s with and without fluoridation and the children and families this affects
Andrew King Agree I am persuaded by the evidence that shows that the public health benefits of Fluoride far outweigh the potential costs. I am therefore personally in favour of resuming fluoride additives to Hamilton’s water supply. However, if elected I would respect the results of the referendum, irrespective of the outcome.


COUNCILLORS (what they said in 2010)

Fluoridation Position Statement
Julie Hardaker (Mayor)
Daphne Bell
Peter Bos Supports referendum My wife & our family dentist support fluoridation. Our Council has had a referendum in the past. If a further referendum is called for by the vast majority of my electorate, I would support that referendum. I have supported a referendum in the past & would do so again, but the cost of having one is substantial & I would need to be convinced that it is needed as the last time we went to the people was one term ago
Gordon Chesterman Supports referendum As I did the last time, I’m always happy to support a binding referendum. But if re-elected and councillors were prepared to do it again, I would argue that we have several other issues included so the cost could be shared over the issues, rather than one.
Margaret Forsyth Not sure Not knowing a lot about the effects of fluoride (except that it is supposed to strengthen our teeth) I will have to decline any comment in support or against fluoridation until I am better informed. The common sense answer is to invite consultation, and/or referendum, weigh up the evidence and make an informed decision.
Martin Gallagher
John Gower Against I believe everyone in Hamilton should have a choice on whether they drink fluoridated water – in the present circumstances they do not and I believe that is wrong. The only way people will have a choice is to stop the current practice and those who want fluoride have ample other means of achieving this. I think that at times there is a Political Correctness in advice we are given from Govt Departments. Believe another referendum should be completed in this new term of Council.
Roger Hennebry Against I am a Hamilton City Councillor and I am on record voting against fluoride and was in support of a referendum – that motion was lost. I am standing for re-election to council along with a like minded team “the Rates Control Team” of 11 candidates and it is our intention to be able to make a difference together. Teams do work.
Dave McPherson Against As you know I oppose fluoridation. I will (again) be prepared to move that we cease putting it in Hamilton’s water – I hope sufficient candidates are elected to see that move successful. In Hamilton’s case, a majority of voters in a referendum supported keeping fluoridation – the problem there was in part the biased campaign run by the Waikato DHB and the MoH that convinced the voters, not so much the Councillors, who had actually supported giving voters the choice (albeit with limited information).
Pippa Mahood
Angela O’Leary Not Sure I support a referendum or some sort of consultative process.
Maria (Marijke) Westphal Supports referendum I have supported a referendum on this matter.
Ewan Wilson For I fully support fluoridation, I feel that its is an important health initiative.


Candidate Fluoridation Position Statement
Possum Allen Against I find that the Fluoride Action network website contains some very interesting and informative information about Fluoride. Of particular note are the “10 Facts about Fluoride” and the “50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation”. The website presents some compelling reasoning around fluoridation in drinking water.
On a personal level I prefer for our family to drink water which has no addedd chemical of any sort. To that end I am thankful that we live on a property which has a rain water tank and we also draw on bore water. On top of that we use water purifers to remove any bacteria or chemicals which may find their way into our water.
In an ideal world, all water should remain uncontaminated and chemical free.
Jason Cargo Not sure I believe in the health of Hamiltonians but have not formed an opinion either way on fluoridation.
Sharon Cawood For From what I can find out on subject, I agree with fouridation of drinking water.
Matiu Dickson Not sure I did support fluoridation because I believed that the Ministry had experts that should know better than us mere mortals. I also had a young family and thought it was better for my children while they were young. I know the chemical used to fluoridate water is by itself poison but I have also seen the photos of rotting teeth of the children in non-fluoride areas. Now I am not so sure and I would support a referendum or other consultative process during which all of the arguments for and against can be properly put out in the open and debated freely.
Margaret Forsyth Not sure Not knowing a lot about the effects of fluoride (except that it is supposed to strengthen our teeth) I will have to decline any comment in support or against fluoridation until I am better informed. The common sense answer is to invite consultation, and/or referendum, weigh up the evidence and make an informed decision.
Tania Hennebry Against I do not support fluoridation of our water supply! In my opinion poisoning our water supply to satisfy some is a high price to pay and the consequences are too great. As a team we strongly believe that communities have the answers to many issues of concern but they are not listened to. This is why we want to ‘take the pulse of the people’ and seek feedback quarterly (with the rates demand) on important issues and major projects which involve large expenditure. I would welcome well informed debate on this and then a community survey that goes to 52,000 ratepayers seeking direct feedback.
John Heritage For I understand that a controlled amount of fluoride in drinking water or toothpaste (eg 0.5 to 1 part per million) has been proven to be an effective oral health measure which in turn (presumably) reduces the burden on the health system in terms of dental repair work. On the other hand larger concentrations have been shown to be the cause of serious illness and occasionally even death. Therefore it seems to me that fluoridation within strictly controlled limits is generally beneficial. I hope this is helpful.
Andrew Johnstone For I was bought up in a rural district and every now and again, my mother gave us a fluoride tablet. I have had excellent teeth all my life, not handicapped in the least by good dental hygiene and good quality food. Our own children suffered terribly with tooth decay despite a good diet and supervised ‘brushing of teeth’. Drawing water from a rain water tank, we drew on my mothers wisdom and we started supplementing the children’s diet with a fluoride tablet from time to time. Within a year, the results were dramatic and on going. I cannot deny the benefits I have found through the gentle and judicious administration of fluoride. I watched and read the information you have made available and while I found it interesting, I would counter argue that we have very poor soil in NZ, lacking in many elements that the rest of the developed world receive in adequate quantities via their diets. We supplement our livestock with all manner of nutrients (copper, selenium, cobalt, magnesium, zinc: to name but a few trace minerals) to compensate for the deficiencies in our soils, yet we are loath to allow our own communities the same opportunities for adequate nutrition. I am not yet convinced that fluoride is as dangerous as is claimed.
Clare Kowalewski Supports referendum I have no strong views opposing or supporting fluoridation of drinking water, although I understand that this issues is highly debated. I do believe that there is a large research project currently being undertaken by the government. I’m watching to see the outcome of this, I will base my opinion of quantitative data, facts and information. The cost of changing this process would be huge and my understanding is that to remove fluoride it would have to be a national process. I wouldn’t want to spend such a large amount of money on something unless it is a real threat to the well-being of the community. I can appreciate the concern that some people have, although I would rely on the advise of the MoH and other international institutions (not just the facts of a singular study, which has very little validity). Again its a substantial amount of money to spend, for rate payers etc. I wouldn’t consider making the change without a solid reason. I would support a referendum if that is what the community wants.
Ross MacLeod For As a councillor I would support continued fluoridation of Hamilton’s water supply. While opponents of fluoridation do have valid arguments, such as the ethics of treating an entire water supply, these arguments are often derailed by exaggerated and emotive claims. Both the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Association support fluoridation and I stand by their opinion. I believe that a referendum on the subject would be expensive and given the heated nature of the topic, it would be difficult for the community not to biased by the loudest side. However there should be room for a consultation process in which scientific evidence on the matter be presented and assessed.
Gerry Mallett For I’m of the opinion that the benefits of fluoridation outweigh the costs/risks.
Hugo Percy Against I am basically opposed to any foreign additions in our drinking water, other than treatment to make it safe. Parents who wish to add Fluoride for their childrens dental future are free to do so independently and through an informed education program where necessary.

I know that there are others in our team that also share this view so I just hope it matches yours and that we can count on your support when it comes to ticking the boxes in a few weeks time.

Mark Servian Supports referendum The decision as to whether or not fluoride should be in the water supply can, in my view, only be resolved by a local referendum in which both sides have equal funding or spending limit. In other words, if the Government is going to fund the health authorities to promote the pro-fluoride side, then they must match the funding for the anti-flouride side, OR not fund either side and set a spending limit as we do with every other electoral process in NZ. It is a question that is highly appropriate for a referendum, as it is a contentious issue and the effect of both change or retaining the status quo will be equally borne by everyone.

It is clear to me that fluoride has dental health advantages for growing children and the general populace but bone structure disadvantages for older people, and that overdoses as a result of it being in the water supply do happen and that lifetime exposure is generally less than ideal. So it would clearly be preferable that fluoride was delivered topically to teeth, particularly children’s teeth, rather than via the water supply. But its also clear that if it is removed from the water, the greatest health cost would be carried by the children of the poor, who are least likely to use toothpaste. A way around that would be for the state to introduce compulsory and resourced teeth brushing in schools, but that requires central government lawmaking and funding. Overall the need for preventative dental health care via fluoride would be far less required if we did not live in a sugar-rich environment – thus the best way to resolve this issue would be to make sugar as illegal as some other forms of white powder, but that’s also a question for central government and is unlikely to happen anytime soon. So given all of the above, my view is that the competing considerations around fluoride in the water supply are best resolved in Hamilton and other communities by public referendum, see beginning.

Denise Tyrer-Harding Against I appreciate that fluoride is a toxic substance. It is not added to our water to treat the water, but to medicate the populace. That whilst some (limited) fluoride in our water has been indicated to provide some preferred outcomes in various studies, the benefits have often been exaggerated. I am aware it does not prevent tooth decay as has long been the position espoused, but may merely slow it down.

I appreciate that the substance accumulates, so that even small quantities over time have been shown to have negative consequences for many of us. I appreciate that the levels in our water may actually be in excess of any recommended daily allowance – particularly for young children and as such is not only toxic, but also may have negative consequences in the development of their teeth. However, I am also aware that many problems arising from fluoride occurs as much, if not more, from the use of the range of other products containing fluoride and so the issue is broader – extending to foods, beverages, toothpaste and so forth. So the issue is greater than our water supply alone.

I accept that our dental health also has much to do with our individual genetic makeup and such variation is not accounted for in the delivery of our water supply. I am very much aware that our environment in which we live today exposes us to chemicals from all sources. Some are allegedly for our better health, others are not and we become exposed to them often through our ignorance. My concern is not only with individual chemicals, but the totality effect of exposure to all at the same time.

As a mother of four children and a grandmother of four grandchildren, all of whom were prone to ear infections, I have experienced at first-hand how antibiotics given to alleviate the problems of ear infections only in turn cause dental decay. I am also aware that limited quantities of certain compounds are beneficial, but that the same compounds may be detrimental when used regularly or in higher doses. I am further aware that we individually have different tolerances to compounds. All substances have contraindications.

If we are unable to stop fluoride being added to our water and instead have our citizens better educated on improving their dental hygiene by other easy to achieve methods, then at the very least, the quantities in our water should be based on levels which are safe for babies, and be based on a high consumption of water throughout any single period (meaning that the current levels may be dramatically reduced).

Our concerns need to be listened to and alternatives considered for our community health – wherever possible. Healthy individuals contribute to a healthy community. As such I practice alternative options for the treatment of certain conditions and so forth, to avoid taking medications where known alternatives have proven results. I hope my response – whilst fuller than requested, provides you with an understanding of my position, generally. However, I would welcome from you any information you can provide to me that you have regarding the alleged benefits and disadvantages of fluoride in our water so I may become better informed of information of which I may not be aware.