Simpson Grierson has helped secure a Supreme Court judgment that has effect for all local councils in New Zealand.
The top-tier firm acted for the South Taranaki District Council, which the Supreme Court ruled to have the authority to fluoridate the drinking-water supply of the Patea and Waverley townships.
Simpson Grierson was involved throughout the long-running dispute. Special counsel Duncan Laing and senior associate Hamish Harwood represented the district council.
The Supreme Court ruled that the decision to fluoridate the water supply was made by the council based on evidence of high levels of dental decay among the townships’ residents. This is consistent with the approach to fluoridation across New Zealand.
In effect, the ruling is precedent for local councils having the authority to fluoridate drinking-water supply under the Local Government Act 2002 and Health Act 1956.
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