Question Time in Parliament - 28 June 2017
5. JAMES SHAW (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: Why did he say that “we accept there is growing public concern” over bottling and exporting water for profit, and when will he address that concern by putting a charge on water bottling?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH (Prime Minister): I said it because there was, and there is. That is why we have asked a technical advisory group on water allocation to look at the issue. We look forward to considering its report later on this year. It is an issue that needs to be seen in the context of all the other intensive work that is going on, to focus on better use and higher quality of fresh water in New Zealand.
James Shaw: Will he commit to implementing a resource rental on water if the technical advisory group recommends it?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: The member has leapt to a much broader assertion about resource rentals on water. We have yet to see what the technical advisory group comes up with.
James Shaw: Will he commit to implementing a price on water bottling if the technical advisory group recommends it?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: It just does not make sense to make open-ended commitments well before we have got an indication of the advice. But what I would say to the member is that over the last 5 or 6 years the Government has done intensive work on all these water-related issues, and from that we have learnt the importance of getting the science right, getting a very good understanding of all the different dimensions of the problems related to the use of water and the quality of water, and we have learnt not to jump to conclusions about what the right answer is. See full answers and further questions