Jenny Salesa vows political support for water-only schools

Associate Education and Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says she's very supportive of water-only schools, but a policy to make it compulsory nation-wide isn't quite there yet.

"It's one of the things that we're looking at right now, we're still finalising the policy. Next would be a Cabinet paper and then all the options that are open to us."

She commends The Project for helping to educate the public and make sure that more people understand the benefits of water-only schools.

For the kids at Oranga Primary in One Tree Hill, there's only one thing to drink at school - and that's water.

Staff have embraced the water-only policy ever since it was introduced 13 years ago.

"I have seen the impact in terms of children's physical wellbeing," says principal Diana Peri.

"Children will be going to the dental therapist every six months and now quite a lot of them see them once every 18 months, so that's a real change."

Teacher Brett Clark says parents have been quick to come on board the initiative, understanding that the health of their children's teeth will improve.

Pukekohe East School has been water-only for five years, which parent Maree Payne says her daughter has responded well to.

"She hasn't missed the fizzy drinks or anything like that at all."

The Project has been told of almost 100 New Zealand schools that are water-only, but that still leaves more than 2000 schools nationwide in which kids can sip on a sugar hit.