Cheers of "well done Judy" followed a Whakatane District Council vote to continue adding fluoride to the Whakatane and Ohope water supplied.

At a policy committee meeting today, a Notice of Motion proposing the revocation of a previous council resolution to stop adding fluoride to the water supplies was debated.

When the matter was first voted on in late January, a division on fluoridation rose with Mayor Tony Bonne and councillors George Johnston, Scott Jarrett, Dave Sheaff, Alison Silcock and Gerard van Beek voting for the recommendation to not add fluoride and councillors Judy Turner, Julie Jukes, John Pullar, Russell Orr and Andrew Iles voting against.

Today's motion, brought by deputy mayor Judy Turner, was supported by a healthy population of the Eastern Bay community who, in 2013, voted to retain fluoride in a non-binding referendum.


At today's meeting, Mrs Turner said community wishes had been ignored by council and, because of it, ratepayers had lost confidence in council.

"In this election year, this Notice of Motion is our opportunity to show them we do listen."
She urged councillors to demonstrate they hadn't just looked at the science of the pros and cons of fluoridation, but had also listened to the people.

Speaking in support of the motion were Mrs Turner and councillors Russell Orr, Julie Jukes, Andrew Ilses, while Mayor Tony Bonne and councillors Scott Jarrett, Alison Silock and Dave Sheaff while councillor Gerard van Beek was undecided.

However, when it was time to vote, Mr van Beek voted in support of the motion, Mr Bonne did not vote and councillor George Johnston was not at the meeting.

Members of the community who were at the meeting showed their support with a loud round of applause once the show-of-hands votes had been counted.

The majority of councillors also voted to report back on the feasibility of adding fluoride to the water supplies of the communities that supported the introduction of fluoride, namely Matata, Edgecumbe, Te Mahoe and the Rangitaiki Plains.