INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour’s water policy raises many questions

Published: Wed 9 Aug 2017 11:55 AM
Labour’s water policy raises many questions
9 August 2017
Water New Zealand says the Labour Party’s proposal to fund regional councils to improve water quality through a royalty on commercial users could help provide local communities with better resources needed to restore waterways.
“It is only fair that some of the profits from the taking of water are returned to communities to help restore degraded water quality,” says Chief Executive John Pfahlert.
“In principle it acknowledges the value of water and its huge contribution to our economic security and way of life.”
He says he can understand why voters would be attracted to policies that include charging big commercial users such farmers who rely on irrigation and water bottling companies. But he believes a fairer approach would be to charge everybody who uses water.
“Why target farmers and water bottlers and not industrial and domestic users in order to ensure that water is used efficiently across all sectors?”
John Pfahlert says it is important that there is a consistent approach to any policy on water and water pricing and not a knee-jerk response to opinion polls.
He says although publicly appealing, this policy raises many difficult questions.
“Currently the Government’s view is that nobody owns water. This policy takes the view that everybody owns the water.
“This shift in ownership status would raise questions of the rights of Maoridom who could legitimately claim a share of ownership under the Treaty of Waitangi.”
John Pfahlert says there are also questions around the mechanisms that would be used to impose a charge on water consent holders and irrigators.
“It would probably mean there would need to be retrospective legislation and this would raise many fish hooks for farmers and for the government.”
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Tax Working Group Terms of Reference announced
By: New Zealand Government
Minister announces new plan for Metro Sports Facility
By: New Zealand Government
Government delivers big boost for students
By: New Zealand Government
The Nation: Patrick Gower interviews Jacinda Ardern
By: The Nation
Working people welcome a conversation on sharing wealth
By: Council of Trade Unions
PSA Disappointed at Tax Working Group Terms of Reference
By: Public Service Association
PM's Press Conference 20/11/17: Pike Re-Entry Agency
By: Lyndon Hood
Pike River Recovery Agency established
By: New Zealand Government
Pike agency a huge step forward
By: Stand With Pike
Solid Energy creditors to get at least 60c in $1
By: BusinessDesk
Govt takes action on $75M cost Chch sports facility blow-out
By: BusinessDesk
Minister misrepresenting official information
By: New Zealand National Party
Mayor welcomes new plan for Metro Sports Facility
By: Christchurch City Council
Metro Sports Centre, Christchurch
By: ChristchurchNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media