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New Zealand First opposed to charging for water

New Zealand First opposed to charging for water

The New Zealand First Party has welcomed Federated Farmers’ support for the final report of the Land and Water Forum, and has reaffirmed that the Party remains fundamentally opposed to the concept of charging for water.

Primary Industries Spokesman Richard Prosser said it was encouraging that farmers were broadly in agreement with the framework proposed by the report, but said that New Zealand First would not support moves to turn water into a tradable commodity.

“Beyond recovering the costs associated with building and operating reticulation infrastructure, New Zealand First does not support a charge on water for farmers or industry,” Mr Prosser said. “Most irrigation schemes are already privately built, owned, operated and funded, and to charge farmers for water on top of that, using dubious environmental concerns as an excuse, is nothing more than a cynical mechanism for the creation of yet another scheme to allow traders to get rich at the expense of the productive sector.”

“Water falls from the sky for nothing. Farmers are already paying to use what they are permitted to take from this common resource, and they are already subject to effluent and discharge limits and regulations,” said Mr Prosser. “Imposing a charge on water as Labour and the Greens have suggested is unjustifiable, it is simply another tax, and we will oppose it strongly,” he said.

“National appears to be wavering on this issue, and farmers would do well to be wary of the neo-liberal leanings of some members of the Government,” Mr Prosser warned.


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