Water fluoridation getting closer

Martin Mould tells councillors about the fluoride plans for Cambridge.

Manatu Hauora (Ministry of Health) has told a further 27 councils in New Zealand they will have to add fluoride to their community water supply, but Waipā is not included in stage two.

The latest direction comes as Waipā Water Services manager told the Service Delivery committee the council has submitted its application to fund adding fluoride to Cambridge’s water supply.

Te Awamutu’s water supply was not part of the original edict from outgoing Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield in July.

Mould said the ministry has said there will be no further requests to councils until after 2024.

Waipā’s water has never been fluoridated – nor debated by council in several years – but the passing of the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Act last year transferred the authority from district councils to the Ministry of Health and its public health officials.

Bloomfield’s last task before he retired was to use his powers and directed 14 local authorities, including Waipā, to get started.

The estimated costs for Cambridge, which would include the Karāpiro and Alpha Street plants, would be $480,000 with annual operating costs of $130,000.

Some funding was made available to support local authorities with the capital costs associated with introducing community water fluoridation.

The estimated time for implementation after receiving a directive to fluoridate water, is nine months.

Adding fluoride to water supplies is a measure to help prevent tooth decay – and it makes a “significant difference”, according to the Ministry of Health.

See: Fluoride – no mystery here

See: Fluoride: still not convinced

See: Fluoride call still a mystery

See: Cambridge: why the fluoride

See: Cambridge ordered to add fluoride to water

See: Fluoride: here next year?

See: Filling in where needed …..


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