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Shirley Applauds Meridian Proposal

Shirley Applauds Meridian Proposal

ACT New Zealand Energy and Environment Spokesman Ken Shirley today applauded Meridian Energy's plan for New Zealand to adopt tradeable water rights.

"ACT emphasised this proposal as part of its report on the Waitaki Catchment Amendment Bill, introduced to accommodate Meridian's Project Aqua," Mr Shirley said.

"In today's complex world, administrative allocations are no longer appropriate for the allocation of scarce resources. Administrative allocations are inevitable bureaucratic, inefficient and highly politicised. They do not ensure the most optimal use of the available resource and, equally, do not provide the optimal environmental protections.

"'First in time, first in right' allocations provide no incentive to use water wisely. They are based on a `use it, or lose it' philosophy. Conversely, tradeable water rights provide incentives for efficient water use. They encourage innovation and the application of new technologies.

"Increasingly, countries around the world - particularly in water short areas - are moving to tradeable water rights.

"Labour has expressed a philosophical rejection of water rights, but we must move beyond mindless mantras and look for innovative solutions," Mr Shirley said.

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