27 / May / 2022

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday 27 May, 2022

Update on Wellington Water fluoridation inquiry

The independent inquiry into events that resulted in Wellington Water stopping fluoridation of drinking water at the Te Marua and Gear Island Water Treatment Plants is close to completion and is expected to be released, along with the organisation’s response, by early July.

“We had initially expected the lead inquirer, Doug Martin to have completed the inquiry by the end of May and for us to release these findings and our response shortly after that,” says the Chair of Wellington Water’s Board, Lynda Carroll.

“However, we have since been advised there are some interviews with key external parties that Mr Martin still needs to complete, which will cause a slight delay to the competition of the report.”

“I want to assure the public that this delay has had no impact on the work to restore fluoride and that Wellington Water continues to work at pace to safely restore fluoride at the Te Marua and Gear Island Water Treatment Plants. Yesterday’s decision by Greater Wellington Regional Council to approve $6m to fund this work was a crucial step to ensuring this work continues.”

Doug Martin, of Martin Jenkins was commissioned to review the events:

  • that resulted in Wellington Water stopping fluoridation at the two water treatment plants; and
  • why the organisation didn’t communicate this in a timely and accurate manner.

“The inquiry is a vital step in understanding how this situation occurred. While the delay is not ideal, it’s important we get this right. This takes time and the Board is prepared to accept a small delay in the interests of receiving an in-depth report and recommendations,” says Lynda.

“This inquiry is very important to Wellington Water as it will provide us with clarity on next steps and provide the public with assurance that this situation will not occur again.”

ENDS

Inquiry announcement: https://www.wellingtonwater.co.nz/about-us/news/scope-and-terms-of-reference-set-for-wellington-water-fluoridation-inquiry/

Read Wellington Water’s weekly updates on progress of their work to restore fluoride at the Te Marua and Gear Island Water Treatment Plants and improve the reliability of fluoride dosing at Waterloo and Wainuiomata: https://www.wellingtonwater.co.nz/your-water/drinking-water/fluoride-at-our-water-treatment-plants/

For media enquiries contact media@wellingtonwater.co.nz