The Dunedin City Council has not followed through with a plan
to seek specialist advice from the Ministry of Health on
continued water fluoridation, despite councillors admitting
they could not decide the issue without it.
However, the council is investigating a plan to offer an
alternative source of non-fluoridated water for those opposed
to the practice, council water production manager Gerard
McCombie has confirmed.
Councillors voted in May to reduce the amount of fluoride
being added to the city's drinking water, but also to seek
more direct advice from the ministry and investigate an
alternative, non-fluoridated water supply.
However, council staff, responding to an Otago Daily Times
official information request, have since confirmed there has
been no contact with the ministry, or the National Fluoride
Information Service, since then.
Asked if he knew why not, Mr McCombie said he did not, but he
had been ''unclear'' whether staff or councillors were
expected to follow up on the councillors' wishes.
Cr Richard Thomson said he was concerned nothing had happened
since, and hoped that would change in time for next week's
annual plan budget hearings, ''given we will undoubtedly have
a whole tonne of information thrown at us again''.
''Clearly, if we've sought that engagement and it hasn't
happened to date, then it needs to happen before the next
annual plan hearings, or at those hearings, certainly.''
However, Mr McCombie confirmed council staff would soon
present a report to councillors detailing possible plans for
an alternative, non-fluoridated water supply, such as a
public tap, for opponents of fluoridation to use if they