Wairarapa Non-fluoridation of water WOHIA

The Masterton urban water supply is the only water supply in the Wairarapa that is fluoridated and has been since the 1970s.

The Masterton urban water supply is the only water supply in the Wairarapa that is fluoridated and has been since the 1970s. The water supply for Carterton (CDC) and South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) is not fluoridated. In 2008/09, Wairarapa Public Health received funding support to conduct an HIA on the impact on whānau ora of not fluoridating water in South Wairarapa.

The HIA objectives were to:

  • influence policymakers at the Carterton and South Wairarapa District Councils in regard to consideration of fluoridating the urban water supplies within their jurisdictions from a new perspective.
  • improve Māori oral health outcomes in Southern Wairarapa

The report describes the progress made on the HIA, and the learnings from the process. It outlines the key considerations for any ongoing work towards fluoridation of the water supply in the South Wairarapa and Carterton Districts.

The HIA tool was presented to the South Wairarapa District Council in which key questions were asked giving an indication that there is some interest in the HIA process. As a result the SWDC long-term plan states, “Fluoridation of town water supplies will be investigated and consulted on in the next three years.’ Pg 28, Volume 1 2009–2019 – SWDC Draft LTCCP.

A brief literature review on Fluoridation of Drinking Water Supplies and some work in the appraisal section for the HIA has been completed. The intention for the literature review was to inform on the appraisal questions for the HIA. However due to time restraints the literature review was submitted with a cover statement to the South Wairarapa District Council for the submission process on the SWDC long-term plan.

The submission to the South Wairarapa District Council outlines the views of the Wairarapa District Health Board and provides the literature review as Appendix A. Appendix B provides an explanation of the health impact assessment process and its benefits.

Future work on the project will build on the literature review and frame the appraisal questions accordingly with the support of Maori community and other key stakeholders. An ongoing project plan will now inform further engagement with all three councils about using and utilising the HIA process. In particular for engagement with South Wairarapa District Council and Carterton District Councils and carrying out consultation with the public in the next three years about fluoridation.

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