Hamiltonians will have several months of waiting before knowing whether or not fluoride could be added back to its water supply.
The Hamilton City Council voted 7 to 5 at a meeting this afternoon to defer its decision pending the outcome of a judicial review in the New Plymouth High Court into whether the South Taranaki District Council has the statutory right to fluoridate water supplies in Waverley and Patea.
Councillor Margaret Forsyth urged the council to defer its vote pending the decision of ustice Hansen, which could be subject to further appeals which would mean a longer delay on the matter of possibly up to a year for Hamiltonians.
"The most prudent action for this council is to defer its action until that decision has been made," said Cr Forsyth.
"The content of that decision will be helpful in our decision here."
The council heard how the cost of a similar judicial review in Hamilton could see a "six-figure cost" of at least $100,000.
"The process could be a six to nine-month process if it is appealed," said
Nearly 70 per cent of Hamilton voters favoured water- fluoridation in a non-binding referendum held alongside local body elections last month.
Councillors had three options to choose from including whether to add or remove fluoride from the city's water supply.
They were also asked to consider whether the city should recommence fluoridating the water supply while providing a non-fluoridated water source.
The council held hearings on fluoridation earlier this year, with only 11 percent of the 1557 submissions wanting to retain fluoride, while 89 percent wanted it scrapped.
It voted to remove fluoride in June following a 7 to 1 decision from a tribunal made up of Hamilton councillors.