Fantastic news – New Plymouth district councillors vote unanimously to stop fluoridation.

We are definitely out of the starting block now. Fluoride Free New Zealand here we come!

New Plymouth district councillors met on Thursday to decide on the outcome of the recent Tribunal Hearing.  It is so good to report that the councillors voted to stop. The fluoride should be out of the system by mid-November.

The meeting got off to a shaky start with Cr Bublitz putting forward a motion to continue with the status quo of fluoridation for New Plymouth and no fluoridation for the townships of Okato, Oakura and Inglewood. This was seconded by Maurice Betts. Neither of these guys appears to have understood the inconvenient truth – that the theory of fluoride needing to be ingested has been totally discredited.  What don’t they get about that? It’s like they have a religious belief that cannot be shaken no matter what the facts.  So it wasn’t looking too good at that point.

But then Shaun Biesek got up and said he didn’t agree. He also pointed out that voting for the status quo was nonsense as they either believed in fluoridation or they didn’t.  He then went on to say that there was far too much doubt of either efficacy or safety.  He then put forward a shadow motion of stopping fluoridation entirely. This was supported by Sherril George who gave a really good common sense speech on why it should be stopped. She said the MoH have been wrong about a number of things including 2-4-5-T.

I might have the order wrong but I think next up was Andrew Judd who said that he considered himself conservative and had come into the Tribunal Hearing believing that the health authorities would be right but had had to re-evaluate and now realised they were wrong.

Cr Marie Pearce, whom I can’t remember asking any questions during the whole Tribunal thought the status quo motion was also nonsense but wanted to extend fluoridation to all the unfluoridated parts.

After that, Lance Girling-Butcher explained how it had been a very hard decision for him but he was erring on the side of caution so would support Shaun Biesek’s motion. He suggested that an amendment be made to use the money earmarked for fluoridation for a joint education campaign with the DHB.  This was a very clever move.

Next up was Cr Quinney.  At first I thought “yes – he comes from Christchurch – people who have lived without fluoridation are so much less likely to support it”, but then he said he had really bad teeth while he was growing up and had vivid memories of the “murder house”. Oh no!  But wait, then he says he went home and looked at his children’s teeth and they had dental fluorosis and so did his wife!  He then repeated our mantra “if in doubt leave it out”.

Now surprise cab off the rank – Heather Dodunski. She is the one we all thought would never change her mind. But hello, hello, she did! She said that it was time to make a decision.
She had been on the council when they had the last Hearing and now she had changed her mind. She couldn’t see how parents could access unfluoridated water for bottle feeding. Yippee!

And then Howie Tamati lets the side down and says he felt defensive by the rally outside council and had to try and disassociate his decision from that, by chilling out in Rarotonga (harden up Howie).  Howie goes for status quo.

Somewhere amongst that the deputy mayor also said he supported the status quo and so did Mayor Harry Dunyhoven, no surprises there.  Also, amongst that Horse McLeod says he always opted for safety first, therefore no fluoride. He said he had been to lots of countries around the world and found that people in really poor places without dairies on every corner had beautiful teeth. He seconded Shaun Beisek’s motion.

So it goes to the vote and only 5 votes for the original motion of status quo.  More discussion while they decide on the wording of the amendment.  I was still on the edge of my seat as I couldn’t believe they would actually vote to stop. Finally, Shaun’s motion with the amendment is up for vote.

All councillors vote to support it. Absolutely fantastic!!

It was very interesting that after the pro-fluoride councillors lost the motion they were all happy to support the motion to stop.  Makes you wonder if they were just giving their pro-fluoride speeches for the sake of looking good in front of their friends in the community. But who knows.

Fluoridation took up the whole of the front page of the Taranaki Daily News today.

Two of the most memorable comments come from Council spokesman Brent Manning and pro-fluoridation dentist Mr Antunovic.  Brent Manning said ‘the fluoride could not be returned to the supplier and letting it run out was the cheapest way of disposing of the chemical’.  Perhaps people might like to email their local councillors (if fluoridated) and ask how much it would cost to dispose of this chemical if they weren’t putting it in our drinking water.

Mr Antunovic said ‘Democracy’s stupidity has been exposed by the New Plymouth District Council’s decision to stop fluoridating its water’.  Talk about showing his true colours.  Apart from thinking that ‘clever’ people like him should be allowed to medicate other people against their wishes, he obviously thinks only “clever” people like him should be allowed to vote.

Stuff- Beginning of the End for Fluoridation
Taranaki Daily  News –  Fluoride-rejected

It’s been a tremendous effort by many people and I’ve felt excited and lucky to have been a part of it.

Mary Byrne
Fluoride Action Network NZ