The Government has moved to transfer the decision-making power over fluoridation of regional water supplies to district health boards.
New legislation has been put before Parliament to remove the authority from district councils, which could come under intense pressure from opposition groups against fluoridation.
It was a health issue, and so was best decided by DHBs, said Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.
I can’t imagine any DHB will decide against fluoridation so I suspect this will result in de factor fluoridation in all areas.
About 2.3 million New Zealanders were already drinking from fluoridated water supplies. Those were town supplies were fluoride was added to top up levels from the low amount which naturally occurs.
So only around half currently covered.
According to a Government-commissioned report by Sapere Research Group, found New Zealanders living in fluoridated drinking-water areas had 40 per cent lower lifetime incidence of tooth decay among children and adolescents.
There was also a 48 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for the treatment of tooth decay among children aged 0 to 4 years and a 21 per cent reduction in tooth decay among adults aged 18 to 44 years.
In adults aged 45 years and over, a 30 per cent reduction in tooth decay was found.
Pretty compelling data.