The Green Party has today launched a petition calling on the Government to put a fair price on the commercial use of water, including for bottling water and irrigation.
On Monday, Prime Minister Bill English chose to defer a decision on whether to price freshwater until after the election. Yesterday the OECD recommended New Zealand price water to improve water use efficiency and ensure the public gained from the sale of this collective resource.
“New Zealand’s freshwater rules are unfair. They allow a few people to get rich off a collective, finite resource that is increasingly under stress from over-use," said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“We’ve had towns in New Zealand on water restrictions at the same time as their council is proposing to give the water away for free so a company can make an enormous profit off it. It’s farcical and it needs to change.
“Our view is that if they’re taking it, and they’re profiting from it, they should pay for it.
“The Government needs to get on with creating a charge because communities are facing new requests for water extraction right now. This can’t wait till after the election when it’s easier for the Government to say no to New Zealanders.
“National’s failure to charge commercial users of water is one of the reasons why many rivers and aquifers in New Zealand are in such a poor state.
“If we value our water in New Zealand, we should put a price on its commercial use," said Ms Delahunty.
A link to the petition can be found here - http://action.greens.org.nz/bottled-water