Labour's freshwater policy introduces royalties for water bottlers

By Heta Gardiner

Labour has released its Fresh Water Policy. At the centre of that policy is introducing royalties for water bottlers. But what share will iwi receive?

The bottling of water by foreign companies to sell overseas has been a major environmental issue this election.

National says the amount of water being used for those purposes is a tiny percentage of the total water available and they also feel that farmers could be hurt if there were charges added.

However, Jacinda Ardern says having royalties is only fair.

“Water used to be used as a resource now it's treated as a product that is being bottled up by companies and shipped offshore and they're the only ones making gains from that. That's not fair.”

She also acknowledges the interests Māori have in that water.

“Some, including Māori and water consent holders, have interests that others don't.”

So will Māori receive a slice of the pie?

“The Waitangi Tribunal has said that there is a resolution needed when it comes to Māori and claim on water and that we are committed to finding a path forward for that.”

“There is certainly room for that. We want to make sure that we make room for that.”

Labour also said they would commit to cleaning up our lakes and rivers.