Fluoride in water: Law change proposed

Water drinking tap Getty
Stock photo: Getty
The government has proposed a law change to give the Director-General of Health control of water fluoridation.

It is picking up the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill which was first introduced by the previous National government in 2016.

The bill as it stands proposes decision-making on fluoridation be shifted from local authorities to district health boards.

The government will however be introducing a Supplementary Order Paper that changes the bill and gives responsibility for decision making to the Director-General of Health.

Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall expects the bill to pass by the end of the year.

It will simplify decision making and ensure there is a consistent nationwide approach, Verrall said.

"Right now only around 2.3 million New Zealanders have access to fluoridated drinking water. Community water fluoridation is a proven public health measure that will make a big difference to children's wellbeing.

"The current level of fluoride found naturally in our water supplies is not enough to prevent tooth decay," Verrall said.

Local councils will remain responsible for the capital and operational costs of fluoridation but the government will provide support if needed.


And where does this fluoride come from?.

It's a by-product of the fertiliser industry, from making super phosphate. All fluoride used in NZ is locally manufactured.

Another nail in the coffin of local democracy.

How so?
Democracy is the rule of the majority. Our parliament is elected by the people, every 3 years. The Govt is formed by by the party that holds the majority. It's a system that's been around for a couple of hundred of years and has produced the most stable form of Government ever devised, thus far.
This law was originally proposed by National and has been reintroduced by Labour, can't get more democratic than that!
When a very small minority of people who oppose a development, cry "Another nail in the coffin of local democracy" they are demonstrating nothing but their ignorance.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter