Too many children have lifetime opportunities limited because of poor health and more needs to be done, says Labour’s Whanau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta
“The number of tamariki hospitalised suffering from tooth decay is increasing. There are 1000 additional annual hospitalisations two years ago compared to 2008, bringing it to over 6,000 children a year.
“It’s widely acknowledged by health and dental experts that children with access to fluoridated water experience 40 percent reduction in dental decay.
“We understand that good dental health supports overall wellbeing and positive self-esteem. A Government Bill designed to give District Health Boards the right to fluoridate certainly improves the decision-making process as there has been a lot of hysteria in the public domain when this debate has been initiated by councils.”
“It’s a step in the right direction and will help plenty of tamariki but it doesn’t go far enough.
“Sadly, the Maori Party wants to hold a survey confusing people about giving District Health Boards the right to fluoridate. This does not mean automatic fluoridation as they’re claiming.
“The poll inaccurately says the Bill will take the autonomy away from local councils and communities to decide whether or not they have fluoride in their water. They are misinformed, wrong and should support steps to improve the fluoridation of water.”
“Labour supports public health, evidence based decision-making and better health outcomes for our tamariki,” says Nanaia Mahuta