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Our water for sale?

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 pm, May 9th, 2011 - 16 comments
Categories: privatisation, water - Tags:

Water is precious. It’s also getting scarce. A lot of people are looking at ways to get hold of it or make money out of it. Colin James in today’s DomPost (not on-line yet) tips National’s plan in an article titled “Eyes on New Zealand as China sucks own water dry” – no national standards as the Clean Water coalition submitted but instead:

The Government’s likely solution – a Crown company like that for ultra-fast broadband fibre-laying, capitalised from the proceeds of selldowns of state-owned enterprises and operating in public-private partnerships to get projects under way and then sell them on to farmers. Now where does China fit in that?

Whoever thought China was only interested in dairy farms. This sounds like one disaster after another. Decisions after the election of course. As Phil Twyford said a year ago, “it’s time to take action against water privatisation.”

16 comments on “Our water for sale?”

  1. HC 1

    The result will be that the private consumer will pay extra for the water, which the intesively held cows, sheep and cattle shit in, and which then has to be treated and purified again to be fit for human and animal consumption.

    This will enable NZ farmers to intensify farming and have the private water consumer pay for (or subsidise) it.

    Any excess water may be bottled and sold to China for human consumption there. Expect major investments from Mainland Chinese companies bidding for drilling and pumping rights.

    Great idea, is it not? The economy will steam ahead so fast, we will all get dizzy!

    • KJT 1.1

      I remember a family farmer telling me proudly as he showed us the Koura in his stream. “NZ is one of the few countries still to have stream life. We look after our water”. He did too. All his riverside paddocks were fenced away from the stream and farm runoff directed to ponds.

      When I was a child you could safely swim in almost any river. We used to joke about the Aussies and their “upside down rivers”. Now there is visible dairy effluent everywhere.

      He would be disgusted if he knew how dairy farmers these days treat the streams.

      Don’t need to worry about China buying our water. One look at a NZ river and they will refuse.

  2. Anything goes in the Great Wild South Islands pardner.

  3. Have no fear the cost of shipping water will soon negate any plans to sell it overseas. We might be able to swap it for oil? ;)

    • KJT 3.1

      Why?
      Shipping water would be cheap. Lots of MT tankers going North from NZ.

      Not a bad idea for an export industry.

      Needs to be collected from an area where it will have no environmental effects though.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Water has been exported overseas for centuries, if not millennia. That’s a large part of what growing food is actually about.

  4. MrSmith 4

    Smells like an election year sweet for the farmers to me.

    The trouble is, most of the lollys will have ‘DON”T OPEN TILL AFTER THE ELECTION’ writen on the wrapper, fine print on the inside please read.

  5. vto 5

    What? You mean we will be having to buy water from China? It will get pumped from the ground here by slave labour and shipped to China for processing then shipped back to NZ for sale?

    hang on, hang on, that’s the fishing industry silly not the water industry …

  6. vto 6

    Well well well (so to speak) there we have it…

    The government announces 100’s of millions of $$$ to rapidly irrigate and intensify land for dairying …

    And at the exact same time announces that it is just not possible to improve waterway quality for a number of years (because the money is all being used to create more shit for the waterways!)

    Lordy, Nick Smith gets the award for Least Honesty Shown in a Politician 2011.

  7. randal 7

    this government would sell dead horses to the texas rangers if they thought they could get away with it!

  8. todd 8

    Water Quality in New Zealand

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/05/water-quality-in-new-zealand.html

    One would expect good water quality in New Zealand, being that we’re a developed nation, we should expect safe and drinkable water. Unfortunately our “clean and green image” is not real when it comes to our water, a fact that the National Government would prefer you didn’t realise. There’s no question that our Lakes and River’s are highly polluted, but our tap water is often unfit to drink as well.

  9. joe90 9

    Some water related links:

    Water shortages reach crisis levels in China.

    Alaskan exports to India.

    The Cochabamba water wars

    Privatising water in the US

    Not your’s to own.

    Resisting privatisation.

    Also, a warning and the Yorkshire experience with privatising water.

  10. ianmac 10

    Rod Oram talked about the Water thing and he was surprised/amazed that Fonterra have expressed concern that the Nick Smith Policy, did not go far enough in prescribing just what the National Standards are. They Would prefer certainty so that they could plan better. (2030???)
    Rods views
    Damn.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  11. Armchair Critic 11

    This is theft of the commons on an enormous scale.

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