New Zealand First MP
Once the government privatises a state owned resource, like water, it will never again be able to take it back. This is the agreement National have signed us up to under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
That makes putting water into Iwi hands just another step towards selling off New Zealand’s assets. Iwi would be able to sell our water to the highest, foreign bidder and, under the TPPA, the Government would be unable to intervene.
We cannot allow water to become a tradeable commodity. There are countless horrific stories of exploitation where countries have privatised water. When Bolivia privatised their water, the corporate owners fined residents who collected rain water. Water prices became exorbitantly high. Access to water was no longer within the reach of many. And many died in the struggle to renationalise their water.
Government is best placed to steward our water, because government is where all New Zealanders have a say. And it is certainly time for us to have a say, now and again in the next election, against the privatisation of water. It’s time for a government that understands stewardship.
New Zealand First understands that water is our most precious resource. Water is a common good that cannot be owned.
Priorities for granting water rights must place public benefits before private benefits.
And while the Treaty of Waitangi does not confer rights to fresh water upon Māori which are greater or lesser than the rights of any other New Zealander, we also recognise that the governance of fresh water at both national and regional levels must take account the views of Maori in respect of their guardianship and management thereof.