Community Water Fluoridation
Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride in the water supply to an optimal level (between 0.7 parts per million and 1.0 parts per million) that provides protection against tooth decay.
Community Water Fluoridation in Northland
In Northland, the level of naturally occurring fluoride is 0.02 parts per million (for example, in the Whau Valley catchment area, Whangarei). The Ministry of Health recommends adjusting it to an optimum level of 0.7 parts per million in the water to be able to prevent tooth decay.
Currently none of the reticulated water supplies in Northland are fluoridated. Kaitaia and Kaikohe were fluoridated for a brief period from 2007 to 2009.
Northland District Health Board has a Position Statement on Community Water Fluoridation
Proposed legislation regarding community water fluoridation
In April 2016, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced proposed legislative changes to allow District Health Boards (DHBs), rather than local authorities, to decide on which community water supplies are fluoridated in their areas. On the 17 November, the Bill was first introduced to the Parliament. This bill amends Part 2A of the Health Act 1956 by inserting a power for DHBs to make decisions and give directions about the fluoridation of local government drinking water supplies in their areas.
Under the proposed changes, DHBs will decide which community water supplies are fluoridated in its area. Each DHB will:
- collect and review local data on community oral health
- apply national tools developed by the Ministry of Health to generate information about water supplies and affected population groups and communities, and
- consider this information and direct water suppliers to fluoridate or not to fluoridate community water supplies as appropriate.
Local authorities will still be responsible for supplying drinking water. A local authority would be required to fluoridate a water supply if it is directed to do so by the DHB. Those already fluoridating will continue to do so unless directed by a DHB to stop.
Please click on the link for further information on the Bill
Public submissions are now being invited on the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment
The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 2 February 2017 This bill amends Part 2A of the Health Act 1956 by inserting a power for DHBs to make decisions and give directions about the fluoridation of local government drinking water supplies in their areas.
The bill is available online at this link.
Further information on community water fluoridation is available at:
with any other questions