None of the towns in Western Bay of Plenty have ever been fluoridated but on the 27th July 2022, the Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, directed the Western Bay of Plenty Council to fluoridate Athenree and Wharawhara drinking water supplies. See Direction Letter.
According to an Official Information Act request, the estimated cost to install the equipment is $603,000 at Athenree and $639,000 at Wharawhara with ongoing costs of $16,000 and $18,000 p.a. respectively.
In July 2023 the Council sent a letter applying to the Director General of Health for an exemption from the Directive. The Council also asked if the MoH could meet with because residents had been voicing concern about the safety and efficacy of fluoridation. On the 18th of August the MoH responded with a letter stating they council would not be given an exemption and the MoH was not willing to meet with them.
Fluoridation: Ministry denies Western Bay of Plenty District Council exemption request
“The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has failed to get an exemption from the Government’s water fluoridation mandate.
Mayor James Denyer wrote to Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health in July seeking an exemption from the mandate to fluoridate two of its eight water supplies, all of which are currently not fluoridated.”
Western Bay of Plenty resident speaks at Council 30th August 2023
Fluoridation: Western Bay of Plenty councils seeking exemption from mandate.
Concerns from the community about water fluoridation have led the Western Bay of Plenty District Council to seek an exemption from the mandate.
Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health has directed the council to fluoridate two of its eight water supplies, Athenree and Wharawhara, by July 31, 2025.
Those water supplies cover Waihī Beach, Athenree, Tanners Point, Katikati and the reticulated rural area through to Morton Rd.
Western Bay District Mayor James Denyer has written to the ministry seeking the exemption.