The great NZ water theft – 3 things we are not being told about China taking NZ water


As more stories roll in at the absurd situation we have allowed ourselves to be boxed into over water emerge…

Ratepayers charged 500 times more for water than bottling companies

Water bottling companies are paying an average 500 times less than ratepayers for each litre of water they’re allowed to use.

A Herald investigation into water fees set by every regional council around the country found bottlers were charged an average $0.003 – or one third of a cent – per cubic metre of water.

Comparatively, in Auckland, Watercare charges $1.40 per cubic metre (1000 litres) for water piped to houses, while the rest of the country paid an average $1.60 per cubic metre.

“Water companies are getting the same water but paying bugger all for it,” said water campaigner Jen Branje from the Bung the Bore group.

“Why are ratepayers paying for something that corporates are getting almost for free? It’s an unfair equation.”

The new details come as the debate over water continues to simmer – last week one West Coast company was granted permission to pump 800 million litres a year to a tanker bound straight for China, flaming further outrage about the loss of a precious commodity offshore.

…and emerge…

Chinese water giant Nongfu Spring was courted by Government officials as public opposition grew

Government officials aggressively pursued a Chinese water bottling giant to invest in New Zealand, even while public opposition grew. Now, multiple legal challenges hope to stem the rapidly growing industry.

…there are three things we need to understand about the great NZ water theft.

1: Water bottling only takes 1% of the total allocation, where as irrigation takes an enormous 50%, so there must not be any discussion on water distribution without seriously looking at the domestic role of irrigation in the use of water.

2: The real reason NZ Governments won’t stamp down on Chinese water exports is because our free trade deal protects them. If the wider population realised that we can’t stop this foreign water exploitation because of free trade deals, it would spark public outrage.

3: Racism is the real reason nothing is being achieved here. Because we refuse to acknowledge the Māori relationship to water in favour of private interests using it for free, we’ve allowed ourselves to be exploited by international interests.

Domestic greed, exploitative free trade agreements and naked racism. That’s a great recipe for the poisoned water cocktail we are being forced to drink.

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  1. Racisms is rife in NZ and good fucken job its about time NZers woke up and stopped there fucken nonsense cause they are the ones holding our country back not Maori its greed and stupidity that is slowly sinking our country. Too many have hidden agendas and they would rather foreigners come here and take our water and other valuable assets than let Maori have any say or control over these resources. And yet the TOW could be our saviour from this foreign pillaging wake up NZders before it is too late.

  2. “Water bottling only takes 1% of the total allocation, where as irrigation takes an enormous 50%”. Where did you get those figures from Martyn? It’s more like 80% of allocated water.

  3. As much as you might hate it, I think the water charges made by Councils is to maintain and enhance existing underground pipe work, rather than a charge for the water itself. There are significant distribution costs unfortunately.

    • perhaps if they charged the water bottlers for it, then they can subside the domestic water a lot more. It is crazy that they give away the water for virtually free so that overseas companies can profit from it, and ship it back to their foreign owned tourist ventures here and make even more profit off it.

      What is worse is that people need it as a human right to drink domestically are paying through the roof, even farmers who use it at least tend to be producing food, but the water bottlers are getting it for much less than the domestic person and polluting to boot!!!

      As for the free trade deals the people who argue to sign them, like the Natz, Phil Goffs and David Parkers and all of the officials sucking on the teat of trade deals of this world are traitors who should go to jail for corruption and neglect of duty to allow poor trade deals to go ahead that are slowly but surely impoverishing and making it legally very expensive for normal people to get a fair deal with our own countries assets.

  4. I pay 500 times more for my water than a commercial operation who then turns a private profit!?
    How can it have come to a point where I can say that as a statement of fact and not just a cynical Orwellian novel plot device?!
    As Adam Curtis would observe us saying, ‘oh dear’ –

  5. More than anything else this issue smacks New Zealanders in the face and says ‘ We dont care, you are not the priority here’.
    Not a good look.
    Acknowledge Maori rights to water and put the control into their hands, not foreign hands.

    • I find it hard to understand that while living in a country where we ban the use of single use plastic bags that we are happy to export water to be bottled; the empty plastic bottles invariably end up in landfills, rivers and Oceans.
      Of course we are making trade deals by allowing it; so that’s alright then.

  6. (With the utmost respect dear MB)

    “If the wider population realised that we can’t stop this foreign water exploitation because of free trade deals, it would spark public outrage.”

    No, it wouldn’t. Jesus! Where do you get the idea that the ‘wider population’ gives a fuck?
    #A They don’t know what to give a fuck about. Thanks Mike Hosking.
    #B If they did know, they still don’t give a fuck? So long as ‘Beer+rugby = black eye+= make-up baby’ =See? Moron? You did this to yourself.
    We’re no more than passionless pavlovas. Sickly sweet and dissolves under pressure. OR we kill each other with a kind of psycho abandon that’d make Alfred Hitchpenis blanch with envy. ( I know. Alfred Hitchcock is correct but ‘Hitchpenis’ is funnier. BTW! There’s nothing funny about hitching one’s penis. Never buy cheap undies. That’s my advice. They make you look like you either have herpies, crabs or some kind of psychological disorder)
    The Chinese are very crafty. They invented gunpowder. We should remember that.
    Did we invent greed? Sadly, I think we did. ‘Greed meets Gunpowder’. Sounds like a book deal to me.


    A 10c per litre govt royalty on premium grade export bottled water over the current 75 water bottling plants would raise 3.2 billion dollars in extra govt revenue every year .

    Which would be a fair price on a raw material in a commercial process when sell each bottle for around $3 .

    Figi govt charges 15c per litre and actually makes some money .

    50 % of kiwis don’t go to the dentist . We could give all Kiwis free dental care and still have 2 billion left .Wake up David ! .

    Parker won’t rock the water boat with the renegotiation of the China/NZ Free Trade Agreement still underway . In fairness to his position he has decided that $16 billion of Trade with China is more important than the export water issue .

    I have heard a rumour Labour may place a 1c per litre royalty on export water to all plant owners both domestic and foreign once the deal is completed .

    If he places a royalty only on foreign owners ,the Chinese Water Corporations could sue under ISDS clauses in the China FTA , for loss of profit/ breach of contract and also other countries under the same ISDS clauses in the TPPA.

    His hands are tied, as its just too risky to place a royalty on water ,as the NZ govt may have to give it all back ,under a breach of international contract law within the FTA ,if taken to ISDS overseas business courts.

    In theory if all foreign and domestic owners all billed ,then there is no ground for foreign corporations to sue for the loss of profit (created by the new royalty payment ) as it represents a level playing field and does not breach international business law in respect of the free trade agreements. So it may be possible to create a fair royalty or commodity cost for a raw material .

    So why stop at 1c ? When 10c creates real revenue .

    Possibly the intention is to start at 1c and ramp it up over time once the model is accepted ? But this still sounds like a serious undervaluation .

    As a political stunt ,1c per litre may fool some of the NZ public that Labour are” serious” about not giving our water away , but its more about giving the Chinese Water Corporations an easy ride ,as its a tiny cost and keeps the Chinese happy regarding concluding the free trade agreement.

    Export water in a climate change challenged world is a sustainable gold mine provided its taken from the right sources.It would earn 30x the expected revenue of TPPA per year .And 90% of public opinion is behind it.

    I hate to use the analogy of an ignorant orange warthog ,who everyday accelerates the BBQing of our planet but would Trump give premium export USA water to the Chinese for 30 yrs for nothing ? No, because he’s a business man .

    Parker is intelligent , savy and a good diplomat but he’s no business man. What we really need is a salesman, who can maximise the true value of our water assets for the benefit of all kiwis .Pay up or go thirsty.

    David , put a teaspoon of concrete in your coffee and harden up .

    Labour — you are selling us short .

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