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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  • David Moore

    Ashburton currently has bore water consents pumping enough water to supply 38.5 million people at the average western daily usage. In NZ, water is a renewable resource.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Yep David, and a new revelation that clearly the Greens are completely unaware of, is that it rains over the Southern Alps, and water runs off them. Down across the plains. Lots of water. And lots of water makes its way into the aquifer. Lots. And lots. Many people in Canterbury have been aware of this for some time. Just not the intellectual powerhouse Catherine Delahunty or anyone else in the Green Party.

      • Ruahine

        I wonder how many trillions of litres of water runs straight out to sea on the West Coast. Cannot there be an opportunity there for a little exporting.

      • David Moore

        They seem to think that it’s a once only resource and once it’s gone, it’s gone. The ignorance is just painful. I saw someone claim most of it blows out to sea and it takes 100 years to return, it’s just a bunch of nonsense pull from damp, dark and clearly unwashed places.

      • Andinz

        Most water falling on the alps runs off at the surface. Aquifer recharge is much slower and, I understand, not easily measured. This means that consented aquifer takes needs be balanced by surface recharge arrangements. Without that, or without restraint, the general flow to the sea can go backwards. In summer months Makihikihi wells used to pump water with high chloride levels (from sea intrusion – now being “managed”).

        Simply not “lots and lots” unfortunately.

        • David Moore

          “Aquifer recharge is much slower and, I understand, not easily measured.”

          If it’s not easily measured, how do you know it’s much slower?

          • Andinz

            Measurement of recharge must take into account distant sources (alps, foothills) as well as river seepage (if nearby) and rainfall. Where irrigation is installed there is another recharge source. There is a fairly good discussion of it here – – which is about the Rakaia-Ashburton area. You can judge for yourself whether measurement is easy or not.
            Should have made it clearer that surface runoff ie river flow, was being compared to groundwater flow which is much slower. The point I was trying to make was that there was not lots and lots of water flowing underground. And at times the groundwater flow cannot keep up with well withdrawal. How else would you explain the Makihikihi seawater intrusions?

          • David Moore

            Surface run off is faster, however there is a huge amount of groundwater flow, billions of litres flowing. There are times and places where it cannot keep up with draw, but that is in part because the draw is massive, and in some places this can cause issues. As I’ve said, the existing consent for Ashburton are enough for tens of millions of people daily,

            I assume you mean Makikihi? Which is 200m from the sea? How would sea water intrusion be a shock there?

    • Kevin

      Yes, according to the Left, big water bottling companies are going to “steal” all of Canterbury’s water, and at a rate above that of replenishment. Oh, and it’s going to result in revolution, apparently.

      And even assuming that a big water bottling company is going to do something like that, according to your figures that’s 38.5 million people in the world being supplied with water. The water could be exported to countries where getting water is a problem. I guess we know who the real selfish morons are.

  • Disinfectant

    Is there anything the Greens don’t want to ban – yes, Socialism.

    • Martin

      . . . and self-righteous indignation. And in the case of K-Dunt, white people switching to cringeworthy Maori accents whenever the speak to Maori.

  • Quinton Hogg

    Um, can we ban the greens?

  • MarcWills

    If only we could have a moratorium on List MPs. Their current “if we didn’t think of it first, we oppose it” mentality is costing the country and taxpayers a fortune. Just look at their automatic suggestion to ban private but legitimate company trusts which are based on overseas assets. No thought process input, and the fact that personal and company IRD details would be made public from their suggestion defies any integrity.

  • Tiberius

    What would the Greens say if an Iwi wanted to open a bottling plant?

    • hsvmaloo

      They did up in Matauri Northland. Guess what? If flopped big time. I believe the dispute is still ongoing some 15 years later with penalty interest accrueing.

  • Rupert

    You’d think they would be cheering on such a move – it’s an export industry, which generates tax, PAYE and employs people – but with a very low environmental impact, far lower than dairy or any other form of agriculture!

    • You forget – they fundamentally oppose private industry and business

    • niggly

      You would think the Greens’ world view would be that it’s better to be exporting/drinking water than say the likes of coca-cola/energy drinks etc.

      But no, typical Greens, they want to ban something good/healthy/non-sugary because it doesn’t fit in with their anti-business ideology.

  • Isherman

    Lets try and apply some Green logic here shall we..bare with me.
    The sea levels are rising alarmingly fast right? Aquifers, which feed rivers, sit underneath 17% of the land mass of the South Island alone (much more in the North Is.) So, if we take some of that groundwater, which would otherwise flow out to sea anyway, wouldn’t we then be doing our bit to combat rising sea levels?

    • Brian Smaller

      Not really because someone will drink that bottled water (somewhere in the world) and will pee a proportion of it out. In an industrialised modern city a portion will probably be recycled but some will eventually make it’s way into the sea. So I guess it would slow the rate of sea level rise down a fraction. Just a thought :)

  • Nesher

    Should fresh NZ air be banned for export too?

    • niggly

      Shhh don’t give the Green’s ideas! ;-)

  • Cadwallader

    BAN cider!

    • Bartman

      Wash your mouth out … with sand!

  • Charlie

    You just don’t understand how dangerous water is! There are people drowning in the stuff every year, it should be banned imediately. Lets support the lovely, wise greens, maybe we should ban food and oxygen as well. You can choke from food, and think of the reduction in fire issues if there was no oxygen. When the Greens are in power we will be all saved from ourselves and our terrible usage of our planets resources.

    • rangitoto

      Yes that hydroxyl acid is incredibly dangerous yet vast quantities of it is put on our crops! When will something be done about it?

  • R&BAvenger

    The water in question just runs out to sea. The quantity involved would be sufficient to supply a dairy farm operation. It will provide jobs for the local community, both in construction of the bottling plant and for it’s operations, along with support services to the plant. A win-win.

  • Orca

    The only thing the Greens don’t want to ban is fakeugees.

    • Catsings

      And taxes.

  • Andrew

    “The Ashburton groundwater zone is over-allocated, meaning water allocated to consent holders exceeds the amount available for use.”

    • David Moore

      And what they don’t mention is that only 60% of that consented water is actually taken. On top of that, the losses to infiltration are 80%, take a stab at what that means in reality.

    • Andinz

      Using groundwater is even sneakier than collaring water up-stream from your neighbour leaving him with nothing (as did happen in the “good old days” in this region). Aquifer recharge is difficult to measure from natural sources (here the Alps precipitation it seems). The consent requires surface recharge but both this and the take seem over-consented. If true and we have an overseas company expecting to profit from this venture then the whole country is at risk under free-trade agreements and can be sued if profits don’t eventuate.

      If this is the new way that the RMA works then the Environment Minister should be held responsible. The “ownership” of water needs to be thrashed out and Delahunty is right. 500 trillion litres pa did I see? I’ll bet that management of consents to use this water establishes a value from the getgo.
      Oh .. and did anyone check the nitrate levels (let alone the coliform count) as some recharge is from those mucky dairy farms…

  • oldmanNZ

    So is it okay for me to water some veges, and then sell that vege.
    Its okay to water some cows and sell the milk.
    Its okay to water the chickens and sell the eggs.
    its okay to use water to cook food and sell the food.
    its okay to use water to make paint and sell the paint

    but not okay to water a bottle and sell a bottle?

  • Bruno 32

    As an Ashburton ratepayer I applaud the council for their business acumen .This project will provide jobs,lower rates and add to economic growth for the region.
    It is dissapointing that the lunatic brigade led by so called journalists at the press are getting so much airtime. I can see the hand of the green and labour party all over this storm in a teacup
    The idiots are having a public rally next week with Catherine Delahunty as guest speaker I might go along to get new assurance they are all raving mad. Not that I need it

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Delahunty looked pretty wet trying to raise this issue in the house during question time. The answer to the primary question left her struggling with forming a supplementary question with the house becoming more amused as she struggled. The tone of course was set by asking about water for sale in Aotearoa?
    They completely ignore the regional development and gains in capitalising on a renewable resource where there is no requirement to consult the tribes while expanding a market for a natural clean green product.
    Good on Ashburton District Council for their initiative in being proactive in regional development.

  • Left Right Out

    There’s that word again…. Iwi….. why is it that it is perceived they have rights to everything and must be consulted!! am over all of this and just want NZ to be one country one people.

    With regards to Ashburton, well done I say. It wasn’t that long ago that msm were spouting on about the slow death of small towns in NZ. Here is a council that has found a way to attract big business which will bring jobs in a number of sectors, yet Labour and the Greens are unhappy……. you just can’t win

    So I’m guessing this will be the next bus the reds and greens are going to try and hop on