Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Labour confirms royalties for bottled water and irrigation

Labour confirms royalties for bottled water and irrigation schemes

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug. 9 (BusinessDesk) - A Labour-led government would implement royalties for bottled water, irrigation schemes and other commercial uses, leader Jacinda Ardern told the Environmental Defence Society's annual conference in her first major policy speech on environmental policy since becoming party leader last Tuesday.

Drinking water, stockwater for farms, and 'non-consumptive' uses such as hydroelectricity generation would not face the charges, which would be set following a national conference of affected industries and water users within the first 100 days of the new government, Ardern said.

Bottled water royalties will be based on a per litre cost while irrigation water will be charged on a per cubic metre (1000 litres) basis.

While she gave no figures, some 5 billion litres are used annually for irrigation. If a water charge were set at 1 cent per cubic metre, that would raise $50 million annually. Labour's charging regime would regulate different prices for different water quality.

"The royalty will be flexible to reflect the scarcity or abundance of water in different regions, the different quality of water, and its use," said Ardern. "Royalty levels will be set following consultation and the revenue will largely be returned to regional councils."

However, revenues raised would also provide at least part of the basis for settling Maori claims to the Waitangi Tribunal for compensation for lost rights and interests in freshwater resources, which have been upheld by the courts but constitute a political challenge that no major party has so far been willing to tackle.

“Labour will work with iwi to resolve Treaty water claims in a manner that respects iwi’s mana, and restores the mauri of our rivers and lakes," said Ardern.

The announcement creates a further area of broad consensus between the Labour, Green and NZ First parties on charging for water use and follows their alignment on the creation of a Climate Change Commission to put New Zealand's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets into law. The trio represents one potential combination for forming the next government after the Sept 23 general election.

The governing National Party has resisted both water charging and the climate change commission.

Ardern also foreshadowed Labour's intention to return to the draft National Policy Statement on freshwater management submitted in 2010 by Environment Court Judge David Sheppard, the most important recommendation of which would see any farmer wishing to pursue more intensive farming practice required to seek a resource consent where, at present, no such consent is required.

Ardern said the water charges would be set at a level that would "ensure there's a decent profit margin" for commercial and farming users,

Labour would cancel the government's so far underused Crown Irrigation Fund, which is intended to accelerate the development of large scale agricultural irrigation schemes. While non-government organisations had lobbied Labour to apply those funds to freshwater clean-up, that would not be Labour policy.

Labour would, however, leave in place other initiatives such as the Freshwater Improvement Fund.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Statistics: Building Activity Down In September Quarter
The volume of building activity in New Zealand fell 8.6 percent in the September 2021 quarter, compared with the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Residential building activity fell by 6.4 percent in the September 2021 quarter, while non-residential building activity fell 12 percent... More>>


Government: David McLean Appointed As KiwiRail Chair

David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today... More>>


Dairy NZ: ‘More Milk From Fewer Cows’ Trend Continues In A Record Year
Vodafone says it has 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi Calling service. It took less than three months to reach that milestone; the service began operating in September... More>>



Xero: Data Reveals ICT Expenditure Key To Small Business Sales Growth
Xero, the global small business platform, today released a new report which shows New Zealand small business ICT expenditure has increased 25 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels - more than the UK (20%) and Australia... More>>


Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range And Revises Earnings Guidance At First Quarter Update

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range, reported a solid start to the 2022 financial year and revised its earnings guidance... More>>


Canterbury Museum: New Research - Bald Haast's Eagle Feasted On Moa Guts

New Zealand’s extinct Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), the largest known eagle, gulped down viscera like a vulture and may even have been bald, new research suggests... More>>

ABC Business Sales: Demand High For Covid-proof Businesses
Despite the continuing challenges facing businesses in this Covid environment, right now there are more buyers looking for a small-medium sized business than there are sellers in the market... More>>