Feds Says Get OIO Approval For Foreign Water Buyers

Published: Tue 21 Mar 2017 10:22 AM
Feds Says Get OIO Approval For Foreign Water Buyers
Federated Farmers suggests Overseas Investment Office approval should be considered for large takes of water by overseas interests.
"If the intention is to see foreign-owned companies charged for water they sell offshore, then rather than require all New Zealanders to pay for water, the government could consider requiring those companies to obtain the permission of the Overseas Investment Office.
"They should be asked to prove they are making a significant net benefit to New Zealand," Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen says.
Charging for the water itself would have significant implications for all New Zealanders and is not supported by Federated Farmers.
"Consumers would simply end up paying for essentially what would be a new tax," Chris says.
Close to half would be borne by electricity consumers as Manapouri accounts for 41% of the allowable takes.
"If water that goes through river-powered hydro power stations was also taxed, then New Zealand power consumers would pay close to 90% of the water tax, which basically means we all just pay more tax, and save no more water."
Feds will ask the Technical Advisory Group looking into charging for water to consider ways to target oversees companies to ensure that New Zealanders benefit.
"We also support NZ First’s recent call for an up-to-date register of foreign owned property that records purchases and on-sales, so that all New Zealanders can clearly see the extent to which key assets are owned by oversees interests."

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