Wednesday 9 August 2017
NZ Beverage Council responds to Labour’s water policy
New Zealand’s water bottlers are open to discussions about charging for commercial water use but these discussions must
be based on fact.
The Labour Party today announced a water royalty policy that, if implemented, would see “large volume” commercial water
users charged for their consumption.
The policy was vague on details about who it would apply to and how the charges would be applied. All primary industries
in New Zealand would be considered large volume water users, whereas the bottled water industry uses less than a percent
of all consumptive water. Regardless, this policy would lead to consumers paying more for food essentials.
Ms Ardern’s presentation at the release of the policy also indicated that a premium would be applied on top of the
royalty charged to bottled water exporters.
NZBC Chair Olly Munro says it is illogical to unfairly target individual industries with punitive tariffs that would
deny them the opportunity to continue to create long-term employment and economic benefits to regional New Zealand.
As detailed in the Coriolis report prepared for the Ministry of Business and Innovation, New Zealand water bottlers have
arrived late to a near peaked global bottled was market and face significant challenges in penetrating an established
and crowded retail space. Should royalties be applied to export bottled water it may further reduce exporters’ ability
to compete internationally, which would in turn affect employment opportunities in rural New Zealand.
“We encourage politicians and the general public not to buy into the emotional rhetoric around bottled water.”