The Health Minister (Jonathan Coleman) and Associate Health Minister (Peter Dunne) are proposing to move the decision about water fluoridation out of the hands of local councils, and giving the responsibility to DHBs.
Peter Dunne said:
"The sort of nonsense we've had of late where councils have chopped and changed their views hasn't been particularly helpful, so we think this is a chance to get a health perspective on making the decision about fluoridation."
Michelle Dickinson (NanoGirl) wrote about this in the papers this weekend:
In my view this is a sensible policy, as there is a far greater likelihood that decision-makers in the regional public health services will be able to approach the issue from a position of robust science, in contrast to some local bodies who have spent a great deal of time and ratepayers' money addressing the lobbying efforts of the scientifically misinformed.
Although this move sounds sensible, anti-fluoride groups in NZ disagree.
I met with the Associate Health Minister last month, as part of a delegation from MSoF, to talk about the idea of moving the fluoridation decision to somewhere better equipped to analyse the evidence. I think the DHBs are a sensible choice.
Hopefully the "antis" won't manage to flood the health boards with members who are against fluoridation, but from what I've read online that already seems to be their plan!