Supreme Court rules against Taranaki anti-fluoride campaigners

  • 27/06/2018
Supreme Court rules against Taranaki anti-fluoride campaigners
Photo credit: Newshub

Anti-fluoride campaigners have lost their final battle in the Supreme Court, to stop a Taranaki council from fluoridating its water.

New Health appealed against a decision to allow South Taranaki District Council to fluoridate the water in Patea and Waverley, after failing in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

In Wellington on Tuesday, Justice Mark O'Regan said the council fluoridating water did not breach the Bill of Rights Act.

New Health has been ordered to pay the district council $20,000 reparation.

The decision is the latest in a six-year legal fight brought by anti-fluoride campaign group New Health.

It began in December 2012, after South Taranaki District Council added fluoride to the drinking water it supplies to the towns of Patea and Waverley. The decision was made to improve poor dental health in the two towns and came after public consultation.

New Health claimed that the Council's addition of fluoride to the water supply was unlawful because it was outside of the statutory powers of council and breached the Bill of Rights Act and the right of everyone to refuse to undergo medical treatment.

The Supreme Court found that the regulations that deem fluoride is not a medicine are "valid".

The ruling now paves the way for other councils to fluoridate water supplies.