60% of New Zealanders on registered drinking water supplies have access to fluoridated drinking water
About 4.1 million New Zealanders (83% of the population) were served water from registered drinking water supplies during the 2018–2019 reporting period. The remainder of the population received drinking water from very small community supplies and self-supplies, e.g. rainwater tanks. Of the population on registered supplies, 60.0% (2,445,000 people) had access to fluoridated drinking-water. From 2014–2015 onwards, this proportion has remained relatively stable, ranging between 58.1% and 60.0% (Figure 1).
Hastings removed fluoride from supplies in 2016, reflected from the 2017–2018 reporting period onwards.
Hamilton removed fluoride from drinking water supplies in 2013, resulting in lower access to fluoridated drinking water for the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 reporting periods. Fluoride was reintroduced in 2014.
Differing population growth rates between communities of different fluoridation status also affects the proportion of New Zealanders receiving fluoridated drinking water .
Figure 1: Percentage of the population on registered community drinking-water supplies with access to fluoridated drinking-water, 2010–2019
People in the North Island were four times more likely to have access to fluoridated drinking water than people in the South Island
Seventy-six percent of the population on registered drinking water supplies in the North Island were served fluoridated water in 2018–2019. In the South Island, 18% of the population were served fluoridated water (Figure 2).
Most of the territorial authorities with access to fluoridated drinking water were those containing major urban areas, especially in the North Island. Of the major urban areas, Wellington, Lower Hutt, Hamilton, Auckland and Dunedin had greater than 90% of their population with access to fluoridated drinking water. Neither Christchurch nor Tauranga are served by fluoridated drinking water supplies.
Figure 2: Percentage of the population on registered drinking water supplies with access to fluoridated drinking water, by territorial authority, 2018–2019
Information about this indicator
The datasets for this indicator come from the Ministry of Health’s ‘Annual report on drinking-water quality’. Drinking water statistics are presented for all registered community drinking water supplies that served more than 100 people. This describes the access to drinking water for 4.1 million New Zealanders (83% of the population) .
Ministry of Health. (2020). Annual report on drinking water quality 2018-2019. Wellington: Ministry of Health.