Radio NZ reports:
Some of the biggest multinational bottlers operating in New Zealand, including Coca-Cola, would effectively be exempt from Labour’s proposed water charges.
The Labour Party plans to introduce royalties for commercial water use if it becomes the government – including for farm irrigation schemes.
But any companies who get their water through a city or district council water system would be exempt.
Some of world’s biggest bottlers have factories in New Zealand, but this means they would not have to pay any extra for it under Labour’s policy.
So Labour’s loopy tax would exempt Coca-Cola but hit all rural NZ massively hard. You’d be paying more for vegetables and wine under Labour’s water tax.
Water New Zealand chief executive John Pfahlert said Labour’s policy must be applied consistently across the bottling market, including those who took from urban supplies, if it was put in place.
“I can’t see any good reason why the government would want to except an organisation like Coca-Cola, for example, from having to pay a royalty for water if that’s the way the government wanted to go.
“We’ve made observations in the past about whether that’s a sensible move.”
Mr Pfahlert said Labour had not thought through its policy.
The policy appears to have the same rigour behind it as the leader’s previous private members’ bills.
Waimate mayor Craig Rowley comes from a rural area that could be hit hard by the charges because of irrigation schemes in the region.
Mr Rowley said the policy would put too much burden on rural New Zealand.
“I think it would be grossly unfair if they are singling out the biggest users in the largest urban areas that wouldn’t have to pay, just purely and simply because they’re on a town water supply.”
Basically it is a tax on rural and provincial NZ.