New Zealanders can’t take clean drinking water for granted anymore, but the Green Party will fix that. No one should have to worry that the water coming from their taps isn’t safe to drink.
Water bottling companies profit from some of our purest and cleanest water, but pay only minimal administration fees for the privilege, while some communities around the country have to boil water before they drink it.
The Green Party will put an immediate 10 cent/litre levy on water bottling and exports. Revenue will go to mana whenua and the wider community through local councils. Local councils will be expected to use it to clean up waterways, and protect drinking water sources and infrastructure.
In government we will develop a new way of allocating and pricing all commercial uses of water, based on shared values of protecting fresh water, honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi, and upholding mana whenua rights. This will involve nationwide meetings and hui to involve all New Zealanders in the process. We expect tangata whenua will play a critical role in this process.
New water bottling consents will be banned until we have the regulation in place to ensure priority is given to good supplies of clean drinking water for all New Zealanders. We will protect drinking water sources from the activities that pollute them with pathogens, sediment, run off and nitrates.
And, we’ll reinstate funding for programmes that help small communities and marae upgrade their drinking water systems, so everyone has access to clean, drinkable water.