Regulatory impact statement
In 2016, the Ministry of Health developed a regulatory impact statement to inform policy decisions on whether to transfer decision-making on the fluoridation of drinking water supplies from local authorities to a health authority in order to improve oral health outcomes. The preferred option in the Regulatory Impact Statement was to give decision-making authority to district health boards (DHBs). Cabinet subsequently agreed to the introduction of the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill (the Bill).
The Ministry has since reassessed the options included in the Regulatory Impact Statement using the additional criteria of:
- aligns with Government expectations of strong national public health leadership and sector stewardship (as outlined in the Health and Disability System Review)
- ensures a robust and nationally consistent decision-making process.
This reassessment is outlined in the attached addendum statement. On 10 March 2021, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee agreed to amend the Bill to give decision-making authority on community water fluoridation to the Director-General of Health rather than to DHBs.
The addendum statement and original regulatory impact statement are attached below.