Updated: Sturt resigns from DHB

By Allison Hess

Charles Sturt.
Charles Sturt.

Charles Sturt has resigned from the Lakes District Health Board just a few months from the local body elections.

The district councillor told the Rotorua Daily Post he would rather put his energy into his sports and recreation portfolio with Rotorua Lakes Council and work hard in that area.

"I just think my energy and my involvement in council matters is of greater importance and so I decided to resign," he said.

Mr Sturt said he resigned at 11am today by sending an email to health board chairman Deryck Shaw.

"I know it's only two or three months out from the election but I'd far rather resign now to signal to whoever wants to take my place to go for it."

Mr Sturt said there were several reasons why he resigned.

He said he "really enjoyed" the issues health board members were allowed to comment publicly on, but struggled with the parts of the agenda that were discussed and decided confidentially.

Mr Sturt, a long-term anti-fluoride activist, also said from his perspective it had been an uphill battle to get his point across on issues such as water fluoridation.

Mr Shaw said he had no comment to make on Mr Sturt's resignation.

Mr Shaw said the health board was committed to improving the oral health of the Lakes community. He said its policy around fluoridation of public water supplies had been consistent for a number of years and was based on available evidence.

Mr Shaw said the upcoming election for the seven elected places on the board provided an opportunity for those committed to improving the health of the Lakes communities, who understood board processes and who had specific relevant skills and experience.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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