National Backs Water Royalties For Some

New Zealand First says the National Government is being two-faced over water royalties, with one Waikato iwi set to receive six-figure sums from Chinese-backed NZ Pure Blue.

“New Zealand First repeats the challenge to Raukawa we made at the recent Local Government NZ Conference, and that’s to deny it is being promised money from Chinese-backed NZ Pure Blue,” says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“It must be a good amount, six figures we are told, because it’s apparently swayed them over plans to extract up to 6.9 million litres of water a day, 2.5 billion litres every year, from Putaruru’s iconic Blue Springs.
“That annual volume is so vast it could meet the daily needs of every New Zealand household five times over.
“While we are at it, we must ask why South Waikato District Council has gone as silent as a church mouse?  
“This council was apparently worried about the bona fides of this Chinese-owned company, the lack of environmental analysis and because the application sucked up the Waihou River’s remaining allocation. Now, these are no longer issues for it.
“New Zealand First challenges everyone involved to come clean. Especially Messrs English, Smith, Bridges and Flavell who, on 10 May, met with Raukawa, other iwi and the chair of Waikato Regional Council.
“The government needs to look New Zealanders in the eye and tell them that deals like this aren’t royalties paid under the table. 
“And on the sheer volume of water being applied for, this Clayton’s Royalty works out to be a fraction of one cent per litre.  They either need better negotiators or Chinese chequebooks are 21st Century taonga under National,” says Mr Peters.