Coffey under fire

The Herald reports:

Waiariki MP says his views on overseas companies bottling New Zealand water have not changed after being called out on a social media post he made two years ago.

Attention to the post has come in the wake of the coalition Government’s decision to allow Creswell NZ Limited, wholly owned by Chinese bottled water supplier Nongfu Spring Co, to purchase a Bay of Plenty spring and export more than one billion litres of drinking water each year.

As well as seeking approval from the Government to buy the land, Creswell NZ also applied for resource consent from the Whakatane District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, for expansion of the existing Otakiri Springs water bottling plant on the site.

The two-year-old post is a video of Coffey talking on his public Facebook page about the selling of New Zealand water for profit by overseas companies and the pittance they pay to do so. In the video, Coffey says it is an issue that “cuts to the heart of New Zealanders”.

“What I’m thinking is, we become quite decisive and we take action, because we need to send a message to the Government that it’s not good enough and that New Zealanders really care about it,” Coffey said in the 2016 video.

Now, as a member of Government that has made the decision to allow more water to be sold offshore, questions are being asked of the MP.

Since the Government approved the sale earlier this week, close to 20 new comments have been made on the video.

One comment, posted on Thursday said “Now that you are the government what action do you take? Grant application for the Chinese company to purchase and expand the water bottling plant you speak of here.”

It’s so easy in opposition to spout platitudes. Much harder in Government.

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