Access to fluoridated drinking-water
This section provides information about the population with access to fluoridated water in New Zealand.
Fluoride can be added to water as a public health measure to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride in drinking-water helps to reduce tooth decay, and slow down and repair early signs of tooth decay.
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One in two New Zealanders has access to fluoridated water
In 2014–15, 60 percent of the population on registered drinking-water supplies had access to fluoridated drinking-water. This amounts to about 2.3 million people, or about 50 percent of the New Zealand population .
Figure 1: Percentage of population* with access to fluoridated drinking-water by territorial authority, 2014-2015 (*among the population on registered drinking-water supplies serving more than 100 people)
Most people who have access to fluoridated drinking-water live in cities. This is because people in cities are more likely to have a reticulated water supply. Water fluoridation is also only cost-effective with a minimum population size of around 1000 people .
Over half of those who receive fluoridated drinking-water live in the greater Auckland region.
Of the other major cities in New Zealand, Wellington, Hamilton and Dunedin have the greatest percentage population with access to fluoridated drinking-water. The drinking-water supply of Christchurch city is not fluoridated.
- Ministry of Health. (2016). Annual Report on Drinking-water Quality 2014–2015. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
- Wright J, Bates M, Cutress T, Lee M. (2001). The cost-effectiveness of fluoridating water supplies in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 25(2):170-8.