Fluoride Action Network

Tararua District Council directed to add fluoride to Dannevirke water supply

Source: Manawatu Standard | Stuff.co.nz | August 21st, 2022 | By Conor Knell
Location: New Zealand
The addition of fluoride is said to strengthen teeth and prevent decay, according to the Ministry of Health
John Bisset/Stuff
The addition of fluoride is said to strengthen teeth and prevent decay, according to the Ministry of Health

Tararua District Council has announced Dannevirke’s water supply will be fluoridated.

The council is one of 13 local authorities that received a directive from Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield in late July to add fluoride to more water systems across the country.

The Dannevirke water supply serves over 6000 residents and while the decision to add fluoride was previously in the hands of individual local authorities, the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Act of 2021 shifted the decision to the Director-General of Health.

In a letter sent to Tararua District Council, Dr. Bloomfield stated that “the fluoridation of the Dannevirke drinking water supply is an important step in improving the oral health of your community.”

The 2009 New Zealand oral health survey showed children and adolescents living in areas with fluoridated water have a 40% lower lifetime incidence of tooth decay than those living in areas without.

The Dannevirke water supply would have to comply with this direction by 30 June 2024.

Local authorities who have been directed to fluoridate their water supplies would be invited to apply for funding from a $11.3 million fund for capital projects associated with the fluoridation works.

While Dannevirke has been directed to add fluoride to their water, no other Tararua water supply has been given the same instruction.
David Unwin/Stuff
While Dannevirke has been directed to add fluoride to their water, no other Tararua water supply has been given the same instruction.

Council estimates it would cost $318,850 to introduce fluoridation to the Dannevirke water supply and it would be applying for central government funding to cover the cost.

According to the Ministry of Health, fluoride is a natural substance that helps to strengthen teeth and reduce tooth decay.

It exists naturally in air, soil, fresh water, seawater, plants, and many types of food.

While Dannevirke residents would continue to be updated with information around the implementation of fluoridation, no other water supplies in the district had been instructed to do the same.


*Original article online at https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/300666783/tararua-district-council-directed-to-add-fluoride-to-dannevirke-water-supply