Fluoride Action Network

Levin & Ohau Water Supply To Be Fluoridated By 31 July 2023

Scoop NZ | December 2, 2022 | Horowhenua District Council
Posted on December 2nd, 2022
Location: New Zealand

Horowhenua District Council is one of 14 local authorities that have received a directive from the Director-General of Health under The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2021 to start fluoridating its drinking water supply by 31 July 2023.

The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2021 shifted decision-making on fluoridation from local authorities to the Director-General of Health. This change allows for a nationally consistent approach to community water fluoridation based on its well-established health benefits.

The estimated cost of introducing fluoridation for the Levin and ?hau drinking water supply is $1M, with ongoing management and monitoring costs of $40,000 per annum. Council has applied for funding from the Ministry of Health to install the technology needed to add fluoride to Levin and ?hau’s water supply.

However, if Council waits for the outcome of its funding application before installation, it will not meet its deadline of 31 July 2023. For planning and procurement to begin immediately, and to ensure Council meets its requirements under the Act, the Horowhenua District Council voted to amend its capital budget at its 23 November meeting to provide for fluoridation of the Levin and ?hau water supply. Work will commence in early 2023.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said, “The fluoridation of the Levin and ?hau drinking water supply is an important step in improving the oral health of our community. Ultimately this is a directive of government that we must abide by.”

Chief Executive Monique Davidson says, “The direction from the Ministry has come at a time when the sector is facing many changes – some local, some national. Fluoridation is a contentious topic and there will likely be alternative views held by our community. Council is obligated to abide by the directive and it’s now time for us to deliver on that directive for our community. The only challenge we now have is ensuring we don’t have oral health inequities across our district in the future.”

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2212/S00041/levin-ohau-water-supply-to-be-fluoridated-by-31-july-2023-2-december-2022.htm