Water extraction should be considered a sensitive asset under new consultation launched today on the Overseas Investment Act review, Green Party Coleader Marama Davidson said today.
The Green Party announced at their 2018 AGM that water bottling issues would be involved in the next consultation of the Overseas Investment review.
“The protection of water must be at the heart of decision-making for our Overseas Investment Act, and I am pleased that, following Green Party pressure, New Zealanders will now be able to have their say on how our laws consider water bottling,” Marama Davidson says.
“I am pleased that the Greens in Government are making progress on the issues that matter to New Zealanders. Our lives and our environment depend on it.
"Water should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Changing the law is a key step towards protecting it for the generations ahead.
"We need to ensure that we are not giving water away to international corporations to reap profits at the expense of New Zealand's best interests.
“Many communities around New Zealand have fought large corporations coming in and paying virtually nothing to secure large water bottling contracts.
“Ministers have currently only been able to consider benefits such as jobs and exports, while environmental issues like water extraction have been left to local councils.
“We want overseas investments to be in the interests of New Zealanders, and to take into account environmental and cultural implications. We welcome public submissions on this part of the consultation document.”
“Māori cultural values must also be at the centre of decision making. In particular, Māori have rangatira and kaitiaki rights over water, guaranteed in Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Marama Davidson says.