Anti-fluoride activist Professor Paul Connett has shared his views during an interview with TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme this morning, with a counter argument given by former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.
Professor Connett, who has a PhD in chemistry, made numerous points, but one of the main ones was that he believes research suggests fluoride can impair intelligence.
For counter balance, Breakfast invited former government Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman on the show, who said he still believes fluoridation of drinking water is completely safe and beneficial.
Water supplies in many New Zealand regions has been fluoridated for more than 60 years due to its beneficial effects on oral health, according to the Ministry of Health.
Fluoridation in New Zealand typically adjusts the amount of fluoride present in water to between 0.7 and 1 parts per million.
A 2007 Ministry for the Environment report showed that 95 per cent of the 279 groundwater sites it tested had naturally occurring fluoride concentrations of 0.56 parts per million, or less.
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.