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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, September 23, 2016

NZ - 'Gun' aimed at district health board candidate in Timaru

South Canterbury District Health Board candidate Rachel Tomkinson claims she had a gun pointed at her as she campaigned ...A South Canterbury District Health Board candidate says she had a gun pointed at her as she campaigned on a busy Timaru street.Anti-fluoride campaigner Rachel Tomkinson claims the gun's firing mechanism was clicked, twice, before the man holding the gun was driven away.

Tomkinson said she told police she was on the footpath outside the Landings building on State Highway 1 when the incident occurred about 1.15pm on Wednesday.It was obvious she was campaigning: she was wearing a gold and purple lycra "superhero outfit" and holding an election placard, Tomkinson said on Friday.

A white utility vehicle drove slowly past her on the other side of the road, having just turned on to the highway from Sophia St, she said.She saw the ute's dark window roll down and a man, who was probably in his 20s, pointed something at her.It looked to be a BB gun or something similar. She said the man "clicked" the gun twice while it was pointed at her.Tomkins was by herself. She said she laughed off what happened and did not take it seriously until she told her friends.

They were shocked and urged her to report it to police. She said she did so on Thursday.She described the ute as being white with black trims and with tinted windows.Senior Sergeant Dylan Murray, of Timaru, on Friday confirmed a complaint had been laid and that inquiries were continuing.

Tomkinson, a health shop/cafe owner, has been a familiar sight in downtown Timaru for her part in the anti-fluoride group Sweet Freedom Army (SFA).The group's public campaigning started about four months ago and has continued with action on Stafford St and outside Timaru Hospital.

Tomkinson said the anti-fluoride campaign generated strong views from passers by, from robust comment to outright abuse.Early in the anti-fluoride campaign, a man told he she was hurting children and should be locked up, she said.She offered the man a hug; he was angry and continued to rant and rave, she said.
"It saddens me that people are getting so angry ... they don't have to agree with me."
The "rage" she encountered during the once-a-week action was sometimes shocking, she said.
"If they are bullying me what kind of example is that to their children or grandchildren?"

South Canterbury District Health Board chief executive Nigel Trainor could not comment directly on claims linked to a candidate's election campaign.However, he confirmed he had received no complaints as to how the public responded to the SFA campaign.

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