Water tax would ‘kill’ the Bay

The kiwifruit industry would be among the industries hit hardest by Labour’s proposed water tax, say local National MPs. File photo.

The Labour Party’s proposed fresh water tax will hit the Bay of Plenty hard, say local MPs Simon Bridges and Todd Muller.

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern announced the policy earlier this week, which includes a royalty on all users of fresh water, including private exporters.

Labour would charge an unspecified royalty for commercial water and use the money to clean up rivers, lakes and streams.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says Labour’s water tax is a huge concern for the Bay of Plenty economy, with the kiwifruit industry valued at $1.6 billion.

“With kiwifruit being one of the fastest growing industries, this tax would kill its competitiveness,” says Simon.

“The tax is only looking at a small group of people like farmers, wine growers, and horticulturalists, it’s not fair on everyone.”

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller agrees, saying the tax will put primary industries and exporters at a disadvantage.

“Horticulture is one of the pillars of our local economy here in the Bay. The wealth this industry generates flows right through our local businesses.”

“How can we expect our primary industries and exporters to compete globally and sell our produce to the world with a Labour Party that not only refuses to back them, but actively puts them at a disadvantage?”

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says the flow on effects will be felt at the supermarket checkout.

"Horticulture is a rapidly growing industry, contributing significantly to the economic wellbeing of New Zealand. Our vision is healthy food for all forever,” says Mike.

“We do not want to see the cost of fruit and vegetables grown in New Zealand, supporting local economies and providing jobs, pushed up higher than the cost of imported or processed food. We do not believe the long-term outcomes from a blanket water tax would benefit New Zealanders."

Todd believes Labour needs to be clearer about this tax and says there aren’t enough details.

“They are essentially asking for a blank cheque.”

Labour Party candidate for Tauranga Jan Tinetti says the policy’s details will be worked out with stakeholders after the election, if Labour forms the government.

“In the first 100 days, all the interest groups will be brought together to sit down and have a discussion. It’s funny National is deciding what the tax is going to look like when Labour has said we want to consult after the election. It’s a little but mischief-making on their part, in that respect,” she says.

“But it will not be anywhere near what people are thinking. But we have to take a stand on water, because we have a diminishing commodity here. If we don’t have water, we’re in for huge problems.”


Selling our resources

Posted on 18-08-2017 09:43 | By maybelle

Water is one of our most precious resources which should be available for free for all NZrs to drink. When people/companies use it for personal gain ,eg: bottle it and sell it overseas they should most definitely have to pay

@ Murray.Guy

Posted on 17-08-2017 00:24 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Maybe there is no loading to buy the water, but there si a huge add on in costs from TCC, the simple flick of a pen has loaded huge costs upon all residents for simply getting a bit of water + a plethora of chemcials of all sorts. The plan here is about money and power and control of the rain, when did someone "own" the rain?

Whatever, waiknot

Posted on 12-08-2017 11:50 | By R. Bell

When you borrow, means the lender is not for profit. When you hire the transaction is for profit. As Murray says the charge is for reticulation. Thought you would have known that. Or is it your weird sense of humour coming through? Robin Bell.


Posted on 12-08-2017 08:40 | By collydogz

If companies are making money out of our natural resources then they should be paying for it. But I have always believed that the ordinary person should not have to pay for water. It is our God given right to have fresh free water to drink. But a few years ago we were all reqired by councils to stop using our tanks and hook up to town water supply. It cost each household thousands so we could pay for the priviledge of having water supplied to us by council. Of course the argument was that it was cleaner water. There are ways of ensureing that water is safe to drink and it doesn’t entail putting chlorine in it. I makes you wonder when they will try and make us pay for the air that we breath.


Posted on 11-08-2017 16:58 | By Marshal

A statement that water is infinately renewable.. Far out. At what cost.. Every time it is used it is abused,filled with chemicals and all maner of polutants.It is depleating in quality everytime it is abussed. Soon it will be just brown sludge.. We can always drink something else...WHAT.. Cheers

Colleen's residential water rates / bill

Posted on 11-08-2017 11:06 | By Murray.Guy

Colleen’s water rates do NOT put any value on the water, nor do Colleen’s water rates include anything other than the cost to collect, treat and distribute the water. Commercial pay the same as residential (metered) at M3 $1.89. Commercial likely pay a higher base rate depending on their meter/connection size.

Really nasty and deliberatly misleading comments

Posted on 10-08-2017 23:29 | By AndyCap

from Bridges and Muller. The panic has obviously set in and now their true character shines through. Win at any cost to maintain the status quo. National has pillaged the New Zealand environment and sold out average New Zealanders in so many ways.

Another one

Posted on 10-08-2017 20:29 | By MISS ADVENTURE

So people are all going to pay to have a drink? Looks like there is a lolly scramble to get the hands on the water supply and control it. When you have a necessarity that a small idiotic mob control to line own pockets then that is where issues arise big time.

It is

Posted on 10-08-2017 20:09 | By Merlin

It is now evident that the Governments campaign strategy for the election is to use scare tactics to anything gaining traction in this election.As to new taxes:1. We will not increase GST. Did so a after the election.2.A petrol tax in Auckland for infrastructure.Called a levy as was others tax increases.3.Promises broken.No more asset sales and the list can go on.They are like a 6 month old loaf of bread stale and dry and crumbly.

R Bell

Posted on 10-08-2017 19:56 | By waiknot

When I borrow/sorry hire stuff I normally pay.

Fake News

Posted on 10-08-2017 18:52 | By SonnyJim

Have local MP’s have been reading Trump’s phrase book "Shock and Awe - A guide to Fake News generation"?

Hey Bridges

Posted on 10-08-2017 18:30 | By Tgaboy

I’ll tell you what’s not fair on everyone. That’s having our water ways polluted by a minority Who are making money in the process. I don’t see your party doing anything about it. I don’t care what cost is attributed to the polluters, they will reap what they sew.


Posted on 10-08-2017 15:44 | By Tania Tala

What nasty scaremongering on the part of Bridges and Muller. They know very little of the details. We run an orchard and pay for irrigation - we use it sparingly and responsively. Our bank has not been broken.


Posted on 10-08-2017 15:14 | By chipshop

Life’s simple, User pays!

Only now am I seeing RED.

Posted on 10-08-2017 13:45 | By Babs

Like school-yard bullies who have just received their very first blood nose, Simon and Todd are trying to spread fear of change. Its the circle of life gentlemen, but do try to retain a little integrity. Bye the way, you can tell your mate Judith to stop sending me emails trying to solicit donations to confirm my membership. The pollution of our natural environment with over fishing, over farming, ever-increasing wealth gap, poor expensive housing, rampant immigration and costly New Zealand horticulture/agriculture/farming false and unsustainable business models all have to be addressed. I think that other than the ok economy "for some", New Zealand has gone backwards during the last 9 years in almost every other aspect. I look forward to the day when I can take my children for a swim in our rivers and lakes without worry.

Political scaremongering

Posted on 10-08-2017 13:31 | By penguin

The current government gets tax/royalty income from many other ’’natural resources’’ and those enterprises haven’t gone under. What Bridges and Muller haven’t stated is how much water orcharding actually uses, unlike dairy and some cropping. Cutting GST out of the vege/fruit scene could be used to balance off tax on water. Bet National would not be brave enough to do that! As for the blue boys accusing Labour of not coming up with specifics, it seems they have memory loss over how many bits of policy National has put forward without specific numbers.


Posted on 10-08-2017 13:08 | By Colleen Spiro

Here I am scratching around trying to pay my water rates bill, and big corps don’t pay.......

Not good enough Jan,

Posted on 10-08-2017 12:49 | By R. Bell

Those of us in horticulture need certainty, not wait and see. I doubt you have any idea how close margins are now. Remember we only borrow the water. Robin Bell.

Political myopia

Posted on 10-08-2017 12:27 | By mutley

They have decided it "will kill the Bay" even before they know any detail. The public will see past this selfish politicking for just what it is. And before anyone wishes to criticise me, I voted for Muller at the last election - so maybe it’s my fault ?

Flawed idea

Posted on 10-08-2017 12:15 | By Bay Citizen

The water tax is fundamentally flawed. Jacinda tried to equate it to the royalties paid on the mining of gold, oil and silver etc. However, these are all finite resources, the depletion of which it is only right that we as a nation receive some compensation for. Water is infinitely renewable, so such a royalty makes no logical sense.

Water Export Tax

Posted on 10-08-2017 12:13 | By drob

This should be an export tax, so that NZ gets something for our water. Our abundance of water should be to the benefit of NZ’ers not used as a domestic tax.

More scare tactics

Posted on 10-08-2017 11:51 | By Merlin

More scare tactics.They need to read the detail on the policy.

Really. ???

Posted on 10-08-2017 11:31 | By Marshal

If these industries are sailing that close to the wind, maybe they should try something new...LOLWhat a load of rubbish..!!

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