IrrigationNZ says that a decision by the new government not to introduce a water tax would be a victory for common sense.
IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis has congratulated Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the new government.
Speaking to media this morning Ms Ardern wouldn’t confirm the details of the coalition agreement but stated that Mr Peters had been very firm in his opposition to the water tax.
“Irrigation is essential for the production of many foods and helps keep food affordable. Investment in irrigation infrastructure improves our resilience by helping protect New Zealanders from drought related food shortages and food price spikes,” says Mr Curtis.
“As proposed a water tax would not be an effective way to improve rivers as the regions with the least swimmable rivers – Auckland, Northland and Waikato would receive minimal funding as they have little irrigation.”
‘’We carried out a survey of 120 irrigators which found that a water tax could have many unintended consequences including reducing investment in more modern irrigation equipment and systems that manage water more efficiently and reducing spending in rural communities,” says Mr Curtis.
Mr Curtis says that farmers and growers around New Zealand are already investing in actions which will improve river water quality in the future – including fencing 26,000km of waterways, carrying out riparian planting and developing farm environment plans to address any issues on their property.
“Improvements to rivers will be achieved by actions taken on farms along with local communities working together with access to robust science to help them understand the issues, and find innovative solutions to specific local issues.”
“IrrigationNZ looks forward to continuing to develop a constructive and productive working relationship with the new government,” says Mr Curtis.
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