New Zealand First Tables Water Royalty Bill
New Zealand First today tabled an amendment to the Crown Minerals Act that would collect royalties on drinking water exports.
“The government refused leave for the bill to be introduced because they can’t seem to make their minds up on charging for drinking water exports,” says Denis O’Rourke, New Zealand First Environment Spokesperson.
“The Prime Minister says on one hand that he will look into it, while Environment Minister Nick Smith spent most of the week saying that the current volume is too small to worry about.
“Even a modest per-litre royalty on nine-million litres of drinking water exported would generate at least $900,000 per year, and that is a lot of money, especially when that sum can only grow.
“If drinking water exports went to 0.001% of all extracted water, royalties grow to about $20m a year and that’s not only good for taxpayers, it could also be great for the economic development of the regions that water comes from.
“This is why New Zealand First today tried to introduce in Parliament an amendment to the Crown Minerals Act. This would classify drinking water for export as a mineral for the purposes of the Act and would then be subject to a royalty to be decided in consultation with the people of the region the water comes from.
“And it also ensures that 25% to 50 % of royalties would go back to those regions for local infrastructure and for regional economic development and job creation,” says Mr O’Rourke.