The fluoridation of water to improve dental health began in Hastings in 1954, and following a commission of inquiry in 1957 there was a rapid adoption of the practice in the 1960s. The decision to introduce fluoride to water is made by local authorities, often following a referendum. There has been much debate about the effects – but most toothpastes also include fluoride. In 2017 all the major urban centres except Christchurch fluoridated their water. In the whole of Canterbury, only the township of Methven and Burnham military camp had fluoridated water.
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Source: Drinking water for New Zealand