Councillors revive fluoridation issue

Not content to let the sleeping fluoridation bear lie, new city councillors Mike Lord and David Benson-Pope may poked it firmly in the stomach yesterday.

They suggested not only reinstating the city's previous fluoridation levels, but expanding the supply of fluoridated water to all of the city's reticulated areas.

The previous Dunedin City Council voted to drop the level of fluoride in the central city water supply, which serves 85% of the city's population, from 0.85mg per litre to 0.75mg per litre, following intense debate and lobbying on the issue.

Outlying areas of the city, including Mosgiel, have not to date had fluoride in their water supply.

Yesterday, Cr Lord said he had been so impressed by a recent presentation to councillors from Public Health South on the topic, he thought it would be a good idea to add fluoride, at the recommended Ministry of Health levels, to each reticulated Dunedin system not fluoridated at present.

''It's something we should do if we can.''

He was not saying that would happen, just asking for a report from council staff, before the 2015-16 long-term planning exercise, on whether that was possible and, if so, what it would cost.

Cr Benson-Pope said he had been going to seek support anyway for a report on reinstating the city's fluoridation to its previous level.

Cr Lee Vandervis said the council would be obliged in any consultation with those communities to not only put forward Public Health South's view on the topic, but all the other studies with a different view.

Cr Richard Thomson responded that he did not think there was any worry about getting both sides of the story.

''It'll come in bucket-loads.''

Mayor Dave Cull said he supported Cr Lord's recommendation only as the start of an information process from which councillors could make a call on whether they wanted to proceed.

The resolution was passed 9 to 3, with Cr Jinty MacTavish abstaining because she believed the request should have come from the community boards of the area, rather than appear to be ''imposed from above''.

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