7 February 2024
Media: Radio NZ
Topic: Fluoridation of water supplies
I’m contacting each of the 14 councils who were told by the Director General of Health in 2022 to fluoridate their water.
I am wondering where each council is at, particularly after the High Court decision on the matter late last year.
Can you please tell me what your council is doing about fluoridation?
If you are not proceeding with fluoridation can you please outline why?
What is the next step for your council?
Have you had any communication from the Ministry of Health, Te Whatu Ora, the Minister of Health or any other officials on the matter since the November High Court decision? If so, can you please give details?
From Rotorua Lakes Council Group Manager Infrastructure and Environmental Solutions – Stavros Michael:
The court decision in November last year does not revoke the Ministry of Health directive to fluoridate so it remains in place at this time.
However, Council has paused implementation of fluoridation until there is clarity and a decision on how to proceed can be made.
Rotorua Lakes Council has sought guidance form the Director General of Health about how she intends to proceed in light of the court decision.
No formal written communication has yet been received from the Ministry but we have sought clarification from officials who have verbally advised that the Ministry is considering the court’s decision.
In reference to your last question. We have had advice that there will be another court procedure sometime in February but we had no direction from the Ministry of Health, Te Watu Ora, the Minister of Health or any other officials on how to approach this matter. Our view remains as advised. We are pausing the implementation of the Directive until all legal ambiguities have been resolved.
*Mr Michael declined a subsequent request for an on air interview.