It has to be one of Prime Minister John Key’s most mocked and meaningless phrases – that “no-one owns the water”.
What complete drivel – no one may own it – but a select few multi-national companies are making billions from it.
We’re being screwed. More on that shortly.
I certainly pay for the water I use. It’s not free at all. [ Whaleoil debunked this already – sigh ]
Every month I get a bill for my water usage in my Auckland home from Watercare, which is a council-run organisation.
Last month’s bill, for an average daily use of 700 litres, came to $190.
That was a big month for us. This is not just a fixed charge for reticulation, this is a charge for how much water we use.
In Wellington I was never charged. No charge in Christchurch either. It’s all covered as part of your rates.
Which brings me to all of us being screwed.
Why should I be paying for a resource that we effectively give away to foreign companies (allowing them to make a massive profit?)
For a start we should be bottling it ourselves. But of course we’re not. We missed that boat. We’ve handed the water over to these creative and smart multi-nationals to rape our resource. And they’re good at it.
Companies from America, China, Japan and Latvia all bottle our water here – effectively for free – and sell it to the world.
We should probably be applauding these companies for their vision and foresight. But we haven’t exactly stood in their way.
Chinese company Oravida paid just $526 last year for a resource consent to draw up to 400,000 litres of water a day from the Otakiri aquifer in the Bay of Plenty.
The company can take 146 million litres a year until 2026.
The local council confirmed this week that Oravida has paid just $1503 for the consents since 1992.
It’s happening in Ashburton too but it’s all top secret – which is an insult to locals.
A company has paid $8 million for a block of former public land and gets a 30-year resource consent to draw 40 billion litres of pure artesian water.
They will make hundreds of millions of dollars – no wonder locals feel like they are increasingly becoming ‘tenants in their own country’.
Coca-Cola – which has annual revenues of more than $60 billion – takes water from a pure spring near Putaruru in the Waikato for its Pump brand. Read more »