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Billboard removal bittersweet for London Street

L-r: Oscar Smith, Kara Disher, Diane Pevreal, Lynette Currall, Michelle Stevenson, Helen Craig celebrate yesterday's HCC decision to reinstate community water fluoridation.

L-r: Oscar Smith, Kara Disher, Diane Pevreal, Lynette Currall, Michelle Stevenson, Helen Craig celebrate yesterday’s HCC decision to reinstate community water fluoridation.

Hamilton oral health this morning staff farewelled the three large ‘Vote for fluoride’ billboards that adorned their London St offices.

Waikato District Health Board Community Oral Health service manager Diane Pevreal said it was bittersweet to see the billboards come down, because they had served the city well.

“But their absence is a signal that fluoride is being returned to the city’s water – and that’s all that matters,” she said.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Tuhoro family [who feature in the billboards] for agreeing to put their faces to the Hamilton community water fluoridation campaign.

“We really appreciate their commitment to the oral health of their community.”

Hamilton City Council voted 9-1 to reinstate water fluoridation, at its meeting yesterday.

The council said last night that the city’s water would once again be fluoridated within 6-8 weeks.

Following a tribunal in June 2013, Hamilton City councillors voted 7-1 to remove fluoride from Hamilton’s water supply.

Following significant resistance to the decision, a non-binding referendum was held in conjunction with council elections in October 2013, and nearly 70 per cent of voters asked for fluoride to be added back to Hamilton’s water.

The council voted 7-5 to defer a decision from the referendum results until they knew the outcome of a High Court decision to a challenge by anti-fluoridation group New Health to South Taranaki District Council’s decision to fluoridate its water supply.

South Taranaki District Council’s decision was upheld by the High Court.

ENDS

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