Irrigation New Zealand

« Back to media releases


22nd September 2017

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern should not answer questions about the party’s proposed water tax by saying it’s about targeting water bottlers, says IrrigationNZ.

When Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern was asked in last night’s TVNZ Leader’s Debate whether rural New Zealand had got offside with her over Labour’s proposed water tax, particularly the farming community, Ms Ardern answered: ‘No. I targeted water bottlers. . . I targeted water bottlers as that’s something New Zealanders wanted, for them to pay their fair share.”

While Ms Ardern went on to explain why farmers and growers were included in the plans, the impression given to viewers was that a water tax was primarily about water bottlers.

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis said: ‘It is wrong to say a water tax is about water bottlers when water bottlers will pay less than 3 per cent of the water tax. Farmers and growers will bear the brunt of it and pay 83 per cent of a water tax. The remaining 14 per cent will be raised from other rural commercial users like food processing plants, while commercial businesses on Council water supplies won’t pay any water tax.

‘Commercial water bottlers on town water supplies won’t be paying the tax. So it’s not actually a tax on water bottlers, only on some of them.’

IrrigationNZ is concerned that the impact of the proposed water tax on farmers and growers, and the wider New Zealand economy, is being underplayed.

‘Earlier this week Jacinda Ardern said there were 12,000 farms in New Zealand, when there are 58,000 and that only 2,000 farms would pay a water tax, when it’s more like 11,000. While her team later said Ms Ardern was talking about dairy farms, these figures were widely reported as the water tax impacting only 2,000 farms,’ says Mr Curtis.

‘IrrigationNZ does not support a water tax, because it will be too complex to administer, impossible to be equitable, and it will create a raft of unintended economic and social consequences. The Maniototo community in Central Otago clearly demonstrates this – $2 million being taken from a community of under 2,000 people is nonsensical when water quality in the district is excellent. There’s also no other country in the world that has implemented a water tax.

‘If a water tax is about water bottlers, then IrrigationNZ calls on Labour to publicly abandon its plan to tax the farmers and growers who feed New Zealand and play a significant role in our vibrant export industry,’ he adds.

Notes on figures:

(1)   Figures are based on consented water use. Data on water used for irrigation and water users not on Council water supplies is sourced from www.lawa.org.nz

(2)   Jacinda Ardern stated in this interview that water bottlers on Council water supplies would not pay the water tax

(3)   The figures assume rural commercial water users not on Council supplies would be charged at the same rate as water used for irrigation

(4) The amount of water used by water bottlers is taken from the NZ Herald research. The Herald requested data from regional councils in May 2017 and from this determined the amount of water consented for water bottling nationally

(5) Jacinda Ardern stated to Radio NZ that companies using water for bottling would pay ten times what farmers did, giving a charge of 10 cents per 1,000 litres (if a tax on irrigation is 1 cent per 1,000 litres) or 20 cents per 1,000 litres (if a tax on irrigation is 2 cents per 1,000 litres).


« Back to media releases

 

NEWS

How farms are working to reduce environmental impacts in Selwyn 

14th February 2018

It’s been a busy time for many Selwyn farms over the past few months. After a record breaking dry spell in late 2017, we received some welcome rain in January.  In conditions like these, irrigation is really important both for….. Read more

NZ needs more water storage in a changing climate

8th February 2018

The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ. “We are seeing the effects of poor future….. Read more

What can we learn from 2017’s wild weather about managing water?

8th February 2018

  As year’s went 2017 was a fairly dramatic one. In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills amid tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to be evacuated. In March, the….. Read more

Free irrigation workshop for Bay of Plenty farmers

18th January 2018

Bay of Plenty dairy farmers have the opportunity to join a free workshop showing them how to optimise their irrigation use. The workshop will be run by IrrigationNZ and will cover how to assess how well irrigation systems are performing…… Read more

Irrigation Workshops – Marlborough and Tasman

7th December 2017

With challenging dry conditions continuing across the Upper South Island, Marlborough and Tasman irrigators will have the opportunity to find out how to be more efficient in their water use at upcoming workshops hosted by IrrigationNZ. “Understanding how to monitor….. Read more

EVENTS

Irrigation Efficiency Summer Programme

November 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018

                                 Is your irrigation equipment operating as it should? What improvements could be made? These are questions that can be technically challenging and costly. To help irrigating farmers navigate to Good Management….. Read more

Foundations of working with tangata whenua workshop

March 6 - March 7

Given the considerable interest shown, INZ have organised a workshop on how to be effective working and negotiating with tangata whenua. Proudly supported by our training partners The learning objectives of this are to: Have a basic idea of who….. Read more

Irrigation Accreditation

Smart Irrigation