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GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Chinese bottling is appalling

By   /  May 13, 2019  /  15 Comments

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The fact that over several years New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – the government agency responsible for economic development- encouraged China’s largest Water Bottling company to come to our country and plunder one of our most vital resources is testimony to how entrenched neoliberalism is in government departments.

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Excellent reporting by Charlie Mitchell on Chinese Water Bottling issue.

A long read but well worth it.

The fact that over several years New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – the government agency responsible for economic development- encouraged China’s largest Water Bottling company to come to our country and plunder one of our most vital resources is testimony to how entrenched neoliberalism is in government departments.

No regard for Maori rights under the Treaty.

No regard for the environment either at home (the affect on the health of local rivers) or abroad (the millions of plastic bottles created and distributed across our planet)

Instead we have official promotion of consumption and to hell with the pollution and the environmental impact.

Just appalling

Good on everyone fighting the proposed giant plants in Whakatane and Belfast in Christchurch,
Kia kaha

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.

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15 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    From the article: “While premium water is shipped overseas, those living in the Whakatāne township drink water from the Whakatāne river: The town’s supply has an “E” grade under the drinking water standards, the lowest grade possible. “

    For fucks sake. Regardless of one’s position on this matter, its not like the Chinese are stealing water that the township would otherwise have. Without bottling, the water would simply remain in the ground.

    Not sure what you mean by ‘plunder’? Seems like the company itself has adhered to all the rules.

    • michelle says:

      Is that the rules that are based on the presumption that nobody owns the water Mark but our councils can issue permits for countries to take water at pepper corn prices. So much for consultation so much for being a treaty partner and so much for fairness in this country who owns the water looks like the council they seem to be allowing water to be taken and not listening to the people.

      • saveNZ says:

        Meanwhile, domestic Kiwis on ‘town water’ are paying a fortune! So apparently nobody owns the water means that those willing to take it and sell to others are ok to profit off this!

        In my view you should be able to freely gather rainwater from building roofs because it is a renewable resource, but taking water from underground aquifers not on the surface, and streams and rivers flowing through multiple properties and areas, should be charged for.

        I also do not think foreign companies should be allowed to profit from water, The government in partnership with iwi should own and control ALL natural resources in NZ including water, on behalf and to the benefit all kiwis who live here. (and not through bullshit COO and SOE structures run in fiefdoms!)

    • countryboy says:

      @ MARC
      In the interests of the ‘sake of fuck’? Can I just say… ‘Fuck’ off? Are you a moron? Because, really? It’s very difficult to remain so ignorant in this day and age. That requires some skill, I’ll give you that.
      OR? you’re just another dreary little Machiavellian confederate placed here as a day job to justify your grey existence by your overlords to normalise a treachery?
      Which one is it?
      The water that our legal system allows the chinese to take virtually for free should be bottled and given out as equally free to the people of Christchurch since Kiwi-as traitors conned dopes in gumboots to spread shitting, pissing cows about like lice on a sick cat then to suck milk from to send to China so more chinese! Who, when all growed up, can steal away with ever more of our water!
      I wonder what will happen to your idiotic protestations when global warming thaws the last of the glaciers from which Canterbury water comes down from?
      You should have babies with donald trump and run for governor of Nu Zillind.
      Cow cockies would love you for that. Both literally and metaphorically.

      • Keepcalmcarryon says:

        He’s no moron, Countryboy, he’s a Chinese fascist.

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          Yes I’ve had run ins with that character here and over at The Standard,… he’s obviously a NZ character with business and trade links to china.

          He stands to keep earning his wealth as long as the Free Trade Deal with china is uninterrupted.

          I recall many of his anti western rants here and the dredging up of ridiculous old historical rants about how the west are going to ‘get theirs’ out of revenge to what he implies is the Imperial west’s sacking of the ‘celestial homeland’.

          Never mind that was well over 100 years ago and the rest of humanity has long since moved on… including china.

          The guys an arsehole.

          And an inverse racist.

          And a disgusting neo liberal.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Sock it to the little racist, COUNTRYBOY .

        Well put as always.

    • Joe90 says:

      Yes, it just seems that NZTE and Local, Regional and National government have no business nous. Here is a company that is going to extract 150,000 bottles of water per hour 6 days per week. Lets say the value is a $1 per bottle. Which adds up to $1.1billion dollars per year. In return the community gets $3 million in wages. Remember workers actually have to provide their labour for the $3 million. This is obviously a PLUNDER deal.

      Simple and quick solution, whack a 50% royalty on this extractive industry. Governments have negotiating power, use it. Political support? If its framed as the nation being ripped off, even National Party voters would support this.

      Both overseas and local water companies would pay the royalty. May be the price of local bottled water would rise but then the amount of plastic waste would also fall.

      What NZTE should really be doing is the ‘enterprise’. Why aren’t NZ companies or government/private company joint enterprises exporting clean/green NZ water all around the world. Why is NZTE inviting overseas mining companies here to rip us off instead of actually being enterprising?

  2. Keepcalmcarryon says:

    I’m not sure it’s just neoliberalism that’s entrenched, this seems corrupt and treasonous.
    Name some names of those who pushed for this, let’s see who these people are and what their ties to China are.

  3. Garbonza says:

    If NZ is truly at the mercy of countries who (if not plunder) exploit its natural resources, when for whatever reason the NZ public is not receiving them, I for one would love to see an accounting of NZers who are benefiting from such enterprises. Is collusion too strong a word?

  4. saveNZ says:

    Amen to this post.

    Why is the NZ government and government advisors so keen to give away NZ strategic resources?

    Why are they blind to the dangers of one sided trade deals that do not allow flexibility in the age of climate change and massive power divide, such as if China buys or influences the top 10 companies in NZ it makes a much bigger difference than if NZ buys or influences (but in real terms NZ business can’t anyway) the top 10 Chinese companies.

    In short NZ will always be David to Golliath for most trade deals because we are too small to count or have any real influence.

    Likewise if 5 million Chinese come to NZ and get voting rights within a few years of living here, it makes a much larger difference to our culture aka than if 5 million Kiwis go to China, (and Kiwi’s can’t buy land in China, and no voting rights, which seems like an uneven trade deal?

    Clearly our neoliberal NZTE types are not very good at working trade deals to be fair on the NZ business and people!

    Whenever NZ business does business with China and most other nations they seem to lose out from their forays into overseas partnerships. From Fonterra, Air NZ, Silver Fern farms…this then lowers NZ share or companies price going forward and puts pressure on shareholders and owners, and puts the company in more in debt, ready to be sold on, cheap.

    …. kinda like another ponzi…

  5. ALH84001 says:

    We must be pretty thick to give away our water for a few bucks.

    Overseas corporates must be laughing all the way to the bank at the naivete of NZ hicks!

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Not only ‘Overseas corporates’ , – but also treacherous domestic Nz’ers as well.

      Our parliament and those who donate to those political party’s are full of them.

      And that’s only the Green party for starters…

  6. CLEANGREEN says:

    China will go to any country and take all the best from them only for their own economic interest and not for anyone’s elses so be warned I have seen China do this in Canada and Africawhen I was working in both counties.

    We must now close down the rorting China is doing in our country as this is another damaging loss of our own resorces that we can not loose.

    Well said Bryan we agree.

    “The fact that over several years New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – the government agency responsible for economic development- encouraged China’s largest Water Bottling company to come to our country and plunder one of our most vital resources is testimony to how entrenched neoliberalism is in government departments.

    No regard for Maori rights under the Treaty.

    No regard for the environment either at home (the affect on the health of local rivers) or abroad (the millions of plastic bottles created and distributed across our planet)”

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