You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Fluoride bill passes first reading

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/12/2016

The bill that gives district health boards responsibility for the fluoridation of local government water supplies has passed its first reading in parliament.

It's a contentious issue and at present about 54 per cent of public water supplies have fluoride added.

The government wants all of it treated to help prevent tooth decay.

"Moving the decision-making process from councils to DHBs recognises that water fluoridation is a significant public health issue," Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said after his bill had passed its first reading.

"Although New Zealand's oral health has improved over the last 40 years, we still have a high rate of preventable tooth decay."

Mr Dunne says that in 2014 more than 40 per cent of all five-year-olds and more than 60 per cent of Maori and Pacific five-year-olds had tooth decay.

The bill has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon