New Zealand should value its water | The Jackal

10 Jul 2017

New Zealand should value its water

The Green party has hit another home run with the announcement of an insightful addition to their already comprehensive water policy at a well-attended campaign launch yesterday. Not only does it recognise that there should be a value placed on water, it also acknowledges and takes steps to address our often contaminated drinking water supplies in New Zealand.

The Greens are onto a winner here, clearly recognising that the public, 87 percent in fact, don’t want to see millions of litres of our most pristine water exported for free. That public opinion hasn’t stopped the National party and Federated Farmers from making shit up in order to criticise the Greens though.

Today, Newshub reported:

Greens' water tax would ironically hit renewable energy - English

Mr English says the policy would ironically put a tax on hydro electricity.

"They're meant to be in favour of renewable energies and want to subsidise it, and this would go and put a whole lot of tax on it."

Of course Bill English is talking shit again. There’s in fact nothing about taxing water used in hydro dams in the Greens’ most excellent water policy. In fact they say quit the opposite... that because water used for hydroelectricity has a public good and environmental benefit, it shouldn't be taxed.

Check it out for yourself here.

You would think the National party and their farming fan boys would have done a better job at arguing against the Greens’ water policy. After all they had enough indications that it was going to be announced.

Federated Farmers says the tax will ultimately end up in the too-hard basket.

"Regional councils, they want the money if there's any charging for water. Iwi, the Government, they'd like to have a crack at it," said board member Chris Allen.

"It would be quite an interesting discussion as to where the money would end up, but I don't think anyone who thinks they're going to get it will end up with it. I think we should just stay away from it."

Which is pretty much the dumbest argument so far. Saying it’s a ‘can of worms’ that everybody wants so nobody should get any is plain idiotic! It’s about as stupid as saying there’s no polluted waterways in Canterbury.

Federated Farmers coming out against charging bottling companies 10 cents a litre is a public relations disaster for dairying. It will do their argument for why they shouldn’t be fairly charged for using a resource to make large amounts of money that much harder.

The Greens have effectively split their water levy policy into two areas, one that is concerned with the extracting of millions of litres of pristine water for free and one that will put a small tax on other industries. Both of these will help fund the upgrade of drinking water systems throughout New Zealand, which is something the National led government has totally failed to achieve.

Another good reason for putting a small charge on water is it will mean business owners will learn to value it more. At the moment they can take and use as much water as they want and this invariably means water is wasted. It also means more contaminants leach into our waterways.

A small tax on water will mean industries use less because they’ll only use what they really require. That alone is a good reason to support the Greens and their well thought out and received water policy.