The Green Party is again calling on Ashburton District Council to abandon its shady plans to sell land, including a resource consent to bottle billions of litres of pristine water, in a backroom deal.
A petition of 40,000 signatures is to be presented to the Council today at midday in Ashburton, asking to stop the sale, which is reportedly to a water bottling company that will pay nothing for the water they bottle and sell.
“Canterbury is in the middle of a water crisis with rivers running low, polluted bore water and water restrictions in some areas. Yet here’s a council selling the right to extract 40 billion litres of artesian water to bottle and sell,” said Green Party fresh water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“It’s not fair that the locals have to restrict their water use and put up with polluted water, while down the road pristine water is bottled for profit, and the company doesn’t pay anything for that privilege.
“The company buying the land will not have to pay for the water, which rightly belongs to the community and tangata whenua who have not even been consulted.
“Our water is too important to give away in backroom deals, and the community are not standing for it. They deserve better from their council.
“Canterbury’s water supply has already been sacrificed for the Government’s dairy strategy, which is failing, and now the region’s water is to be bottled to make a quick buck.
“Bore water in rural mid Canterbury is so polluted by nitrates from the intensive dairy farms nearby that pregnant women and parents of young babies have to boil the water their babies consume or risk life-threatening conditions.
“The Green Party in government will put a commercial price on water, so that those who profit from our resources pay for the privilege,” said Ms Delahunty.
The petition will be presented today at 12pm at Baring Square East, Ashburton.