Is there anything the Greens don’t want to ban?


The Greens have pulled out the ban hammer again:

The Green Party has called for a temporary stop to future deals granting overseas water-bottling companies rights to extract New Zealand’s water for commercial benefit.

The Government called the request “absolute nonsense” and downplayed the impact of such deals on New Zealand’s freshwater resource.

The Ashburton District Council’s sale of Lot 9 within its business estate, which comes with consent to abstract 1.4 billion litres of artesian water each year, has kicked off a nationwide debate about water ownership.

It later emerged that just 15 kilometres away, a group of businessmen were selling a property with consent to abstract half a billion litres of water each year to bottled-water suppliers.

In light of both deals, the Green Party said there needed to be a moratorium on such transactions so the issue could be properly debated.

What issue? Permits already exist to extract that water and sell it…it is going to be done no matter what. The Greens have, as usual, gone straight for the ban hammer.

“A moratorium on these types of sales is desperately needed until the Government is willing to sit down with Iwi and the New Zealand public and have a mature conversation about who owns what and who should profit from its use,” said water spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty.

“The Government should not allow private interests to profit by selling the rights to water, which is the rightful resource of tangata whenua and all New Zealanders.”

She said the Government’s position that no-one owned water was “farcical” and that the Ashburton deals showed that private companies were acting as owners of water.

In Parliament on Thursday, Environment Minister Nick Smith rejected the notion of a moratorium.

He said there were 500 trillion litres of freshwater in New Zealand, and the amount consented in the Ashburton deal was a tiny fraction of that.

“It would be a nonsense, an absolute nonsense, to put a moratorium on the bottling of water,” he said.

“Less than 0.1 per cent in that very local area [Ashburton] is used for water-bottling plants. You could shut down every water bottling plant in New Zealand and it would just be, literally, a drop in the bucket of New Zealand’s huge freshwater resource.”

I guess we will just have to add bottled water exports to the large list of things the Greens want banned.


– Fairfax

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