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Ed Sheeran

Water access a mug's game for true owners

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Green MP Gareth Hughes says a moratorium on water bottling consents is needed while a new regime for allocating and charging for water is developed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government is committed to addressing the issue of commercial water bottling before the end of this term.

Labour's plans for a water levy did not survive the coalition talks.

Mr Hughes says the Greens are taking a stronger line on water ownership than other parties in Government, including recognising the rights of iwi and hapū.

"(The) existing regime is simply madness. We are not really benefitting. Water essentially has been first in first served. That's pretty unfair. It's not a smart way to use the water which is a precious resource and I don't believe it reflects the Treaty of Waitangi," he says.

Mr Hughes says New Zealanders are being treated as mugs by companies which make thousands and millions of dollars from water but pay only a few hundred dollars for access.


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