Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is critical of a decision by the Far North District Council to end fluoridation of water in Kaikohe and Kaitaia.
Mr Dunne says the decision is a failure of civic leadership and is nothing short of disgraceful.
He says Far North children have the worst oral health in the country and the council has failed them.
A survey by the council found a majority of people are opposed to fluoridation.
A man who lobbied against fluoridation, Ross Forbes, says the council should be congratulated, not condemned, for respecting the community's opinion.