June 19, 2018
Water storage schemes on the table
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is looking at what role the government should have in storage of water.
The coalition Government has ruled out further support for the major irrigation projects favoured by National, but Mr Jones says many landowners including the managers of treaty settlement assets are looking for ways to increase the productivity of their whenua.
He says government is prepared to meet some of the costs of water storage.
"The billion dollar fund officials are already working with a lot of our hapu who own land and want to convert it into more valuable things for jobs and what not, so we are going to help write out the agreed need for water but not on the scale of the double-headed monster known as Ruataniwha," Mr Jones says.
While New Zealand First would like to see foreign companies pay a royalty on on the sort of water bottling schemes planned for Otakiri Springs in the Bay of Plenty, there are major legal and international trade issues with any discriminatory tax.
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