The Green Party is calling for the Government to charge water-bottling companies for the water they bottle and sell, after the enormous profits companies are making from selling a free resource was revealed yesterday.
“The National Government is sitting on its hands, pretending it’s powerless to stop water barons bottling up New Zealand’s precious natural resource for free and making millions selling it overseas,” Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“In fact there are ways New Zealand can charge these companies by either charging a royalty or a percentage of the profit made by water bottling companies, or by having a levy on the amount of water extracted for sale.
“Rather than coming up with solutions, the Government is making excuses for why companies like Oravida pay so little for the resource consent to extract water, and then either bottle it or put it into huge containers to ship overseas.
“Nearly 30 million litres of water products were exported from NZ in the last year.
“Those who use this precious resource for private profit should pay for this privilege. It’s not fair that tangata whenua who have rights to water under the Treaty of Waitangi, and the wider community are losing our water to businesses who profit from it.
“The Government has downplayed the amount of water that is bottled and sold as pristine drinking water. But it’s not right that private companies can make money out of a free resource, while communities are doing their best to conserve water and restore poor water quality,” said Ms Delahunty.