April 06, 2016
Fresh water issue of the year
Labour MP Kelvin Davis is picking fresh water ownership as having the potential to turn into this government’s foreshore and seabed debacle.
The Te Taitokerau MP is in Te Hapua in the far north today for the government’s fresh water reforms consultation hui.
He says the emails are starting to come into his office declaring no one owns water or they don’t want race-based ownership.
He says the way water is given away for free to bottling companies and others who then commodotise it shows it is already treated as a property right.
"Obviously at some stage people can own water. People just don't want Maori's to own water. I really think this is the big discussion of this year and possibly next year. It needs to be sorted out and I think as Maori we have rights. Councils are allocating water, just not allocating it to Maori, and other people are getting rich from it," Mr Davis says.
There is concern at Ashburton District Council is selling a 10-hectare industrial lot to a water bottling company, including a consent for the owner to take 40 billion litres of water from the aquifer.
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