Government actively pursued overseas company to bottle water

Do you remember how, during the election campaign, water became a big issue? David Parker wanted to charge farmers for it. The state of rivers was an issue that would be paid for via some kind of conservation levy. Then there was the question about how foreign companies should be forced to pay for the water they take to bottle and sell overseas.

Do you remember all that and have you noticed that it has all gone quiet now?

Well, why do you think that might be?

A newspaper ?reports: quote:

Government officials initiated and successfully brokered a deal with an overseas water bottling company to purchase a Bay of Plenty operation, documents show.

The documents, obtained under the Official Information Act, reveal New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) helped Chinese company Nongfu Spring set up in New Zealand.

In an application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), China’s largest water bottler Nongfu Springs said it was “actively encouraged to invest in New Zealand”.

“Nongfu Spring’s initial interest in acquiring a water bottling facility in New Zealand was actively encouraged by NZTE,” the OIO application reads. end quote.

Immediately, the government got into ‘nine years of neglect’ mode and blamed the previous government. Yes, the previous government did start the ball rolling on this but, the article continues: quote:

The previous government, under National’s control, got the ball rolling on Nongfu Springs’ potential investment but it was signed off in June by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. end quote.

The hypocrisy of these people is sickening. quote:

Located near Whakatane, Otakiri Springs’ new owner hoped the aquifer would bottle more than one billion litres of water each year by 2021.

Nongfu Springs intended to “update and improve the efficiency of the existing low-speed bottling line” currently in use at Otakiri Springs.

“This will allow Nongfu Springs to utilise the existing line for production of new 750ml glass bottles (still and sparkling) and 500ml in new PET bottles,” the OIO application read. end quote.

How are we going on that proposal to charge the bottlers for the water they take? quote:

In an invitations and meeting advice document obtained from the office of David Parker, Nongfu said it was aware of the public sensitivity to the water issue.

“They are prepared for a resource tax on the water used for export of bottled water and are not opposed to this,” it read. end quote.

Okay. That is something but you can bet your sweet life that it will be a watered down version (yes, pun intended) of the amounts that David Parker was screeching about a year ago. Remember how he threatened to double the water levy on farmers who disagreed with his position on water?

Funny how all that has now gone very quiet.

You all know that I always like the look of a good business opportunity, but I really am unsure about this. I have no problem with a water bottling company, but the profits are all going overseas. Water is a precious commodity these days and is something that we have in abundance. I’m not sure we should be giving it away, even if we do get a small levy per litre for it.

How is it going to look if the government, with its Green counterpart, does impose a levy on farmers for their use of water while they are practically giving it away to a Chinese water bottler?

The fact that David Parker has gone very quiet about this indicates to me that the levy eventually applied will be a lot less than he was planning to impose on farmers and if that doesn’t tell you about the hypocrisy of this government, then nothing will.