Greens to toughen up on water bottling consents

By Aroha Treacher

The Green Party is taking a hard line against water bottling companies and has launched a bill that would make it harder for water companies and irrigators to exploit New Zealand's natural water resources.

"So my bill would make it harder for water bottling companies to steal water and it would make it harder for the irrigators to over exploit the waterways we need to look after what is underneath our feet," says Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

The private members bill would seek more protection around underground water sources like aquifers and stronger legal protections to keep the water healthy.

"If the rivers are going to be healthy the aquifers have to be healthy and we take water for drinking water and for industry but we don't think about depleting them because we can't see them getting smaller and smaller or more and more polluted."

Delahunty says she was inspired by Ngāti Kahungunu and their fight against the council to protect their aquifers from pollution and hopes her bill will make it easier for people to protect aquifers.