Writes Bennett Morgan & Michael Riley
INFOGRAPHIC: Insiders NZ, Bennett Morgan.
The New Plymouth District is heading to the polls this month to elect two new City Ward Councillors, and they’ve got 13 to choose from, but after our infographic is published, that number could change.
Two seats on the New Plymouth District Council are up for grabs after two councillors John McLeod and Len Houwers resigned late last year stating Maori Wards and binding refereda issues were the reasoning.
But for the upcoming election, its not about the dead issue of Maori Wards, or binding referendums. The election is largely overtaken with the debate of fluoride, and for one candidate, the response has been huge.
Gibson, Goodin, Holdom, Kane, Quinney, Manukonga, West and Wilkes are all candidates against fluoride in the New Plymouth water supply, which quietly amused our bloggers because there is no candidate against fluoride that we’d ever suspect to win the seat’s.
On the pro fluoride side is active fluoride campaigner Reuben Doyle who largely began the debate with his “Bring back the fluoride” political campaign to enter the council by storm for the March 10 election. He’s told Insiders NZ that the response has been huge.
Other hot shot candidates in support of fluoride is former ‘CHANGE’ candidate Peter Barker, Leaving Port Taranaki Chief Executive Roy Weaver, Former Mayor Harry Duynhoven and political hopeful Mary Barnard.
Port Taranaki CEO Roy Weaver spoke with Insiders NZ Reporter Michael Riley and wants a binding community poll on fluoride to take place. “The Fluoride issue is an ideal topic for a binding community poll. It is an issue of personal health and so is very emotive. A community poll is a cost effective way of determining the issue for a set time to be nominated.” he said.
However fellow candidate Bev Gibson disagrees with Mr Weaver and is fully against fluoride. “Fluoride is a highly toxic chemical by-product of aluminium, phosphate, cement, steel and of nuclear weapons manufacturing and can effect an individual’s endocrine system, bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugars.” she said.
Former Mayor Harry Duynhoven agrees with Mr Doyle’s stance, in fact told Insiders NZ that the reason fluoride was voted down was because anti fluoride groups from across the world affected the decision in New Plymouth.
“Councillors received huge numbers of e-mails from anti-fluoride lobbyists from all over the world, the majority voted to remove it from our water supply [for that reason].” Duynhoven told Michael Riley.
City Ward candidate Reuben Doyle told Bennett Morgan of Insiders NZ that he had been doorknocking and people were asking which other candidates supported fluoride. “It has been a great response so far, but voters want options. Fluoride is the leading by-election issue.”
Voting packs arrive in New Plymouth letter box’s this month with the election result being published on March 10.