Little choice but fluoride, mayor says

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher. PHOTO: WYATT RYDER
Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher. PHOTO: WYATT RYDER
Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher has responded to critics over the council’s decision to put fluoride into the Oamaru water supply.

On Tuesday, the Waitaki District Council was forced to follow a direction from the director-general of health, who had ordered the water supply be fluoridated.

The council was seeking an extension to its deadline to the introduction of fluoride because of a legal challenge, but that was overturned by the courts and the water supply will be fluoridated by the end of the month. The council had received a petition from more than 550 people not wanting fluoride to be introduced.

Mr Kircher took to social media yesterday saying there were many people who were making all sorts of claims about him, the council and others in their attempts to get the council to refuse to comply with the government’s directives.

"If we don’t comply, we are liable for significant fines, and potentially have our elected representatives removed and replaced with commissioners," he wrote.

"Some of you will be less worried about commissioners, though you should understand they will comply as one of their first actions."

He asked the opponents how strong their resolve was to have the council ignore the directive.

"If the maximum fines are levied against council, it will be $200,000, then $10,000 per day of non-compliance. It’s not fair to have all ratepayers contribute to this, as many are not concerned at all about fluoridation.

"If we have 20 people say they are, that will be $10,000 up front, then $500 per day. If 2000 people put their hands up, then that is $100 up front, then $5 per day.

"Many decisions are relatively easy to make but taking on a $3,650,000 annual cost to ratepayers for not complying is not one of them. So what will it be?"

He signed off by covering many of the accusations he was faced with yesterday.

He clarified he was not a mason or a member of a lodge. He had not signed any UN agenda treaties nor had his deputy.

"I have no concern about discussing this with anyone, so feel free to front up to any of my regular ‘coffee and a chat’ sessions.

"We are not above the law and my family and I will be drinking the fluoridated water."