Water tax ludicrous and detrimental – IrrigationNZ

IrrigationNZ says the Green party’s water tax is ludicrous and detrimental:

. . . “Introducing a water tax will be ludicrous and detrimental for the country,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO. “The only robust and long term solution to restoring waterways is on a case-by-case basis engaging local communities to find solutions.”

IrrigationNZ agrees with the Green Party and with the National Party that stock must be excluded from waterways, riparian margins established and nutrients and contaminants need to be managed.

In addition, pest plant and fish species also have to be controlled to restore the natural habitat and most importantly – water storage and irrigation infrastructure needs to be developed within limits.

“If irrigation becomes too costly fewer farmers will implement it and water storage infrastructure will not be developed,” says Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ Chair. “It would be foolish for New Zealand not to capture its most valuable resource, the world’s most valuable resource, just for the sake of punishing farmers.”

IrrigationNZ would like to re-iterate the following points:

• A water tax will lead to increased food prices and is inflationary

• In no other country in the world is there an irrigation tax

• In all other countries irrigation is considered a socio economic tool and is funded centrally

• The Green’s policy called: Smart Farming for Clean Rivers – ignores that some of the most polluted waterways are urban ones due to sewerage problems

• A water tax on irrigators is not equitable, all users if water, industrial and hydro electricity plants should be included

• A water tax as Green and Labour want to implement will not prevent land intensification – it will instead encourage it – farmers will have to seek higher returns to justify the increased cost of their water

• The water policies do not define what kind of ‘irrigation’ is taxable, or what size of water take is taxable

• A water tax will reduce money available for farmers to continue mitigating environmental impacts through new technology and nutrient management systems

• Irrigators are already spending billions of dollars of private investment improving our waterways

IrrigationNZ is committed to finding a way for New Zealand to develop sustainably managed irrigation schemes within acceptable environmental limits.

“Water is our most valuable renewable resource and we believe that irrigation in New Zealand is essential to protect against climatic variations and to enhance the country’s ability to feed its population and to contribute to feeding the world,” says Mr Curtis.

The Green policy is anti-farming, anti productivity and will penalise the majority of irrigators who farm responsibly to clean up after the minority who don’t.


11 Responses to Water tax ludicrous and detrimental – IrrigationNZ

  1. Another anti-Green post – keep ’em coming!
    This: “A water tax as Green and Labour want to implement will not prevent land intensification – it will instead encourage it ”
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Irrigation increases intensification. Is there a single farmer who would deny that fact?


  2. “IrrigationNZ says…”

    Vested interest, anyone?

    The industry argues that they should have un-fettered access to a public resource without paying for it.


    I call it stealing from the Commons.


  3. murray grimwood says:

    actually, the Greens are right on this one – the irrigators just want a ‘Commons’ for themselves, free.



  4. “If irrigation becomes too costly fewer farmers will implement it and water storage infrastructure will not be developed”

    That’s a blessing then! That’ll leave the rivers to flow naturally, you know, as nature intended. How could that be a bad thing, being natural and all?


  5. (Hard to know where to put this one, Ele. I’m genuinely trying to keep to the topic. It’s partly a water issue and partly a “Greens are green, through and through” issue in response to your “watermelon” nonsense. I’ll put it on this thread. Feel free to shift it if need be.

    The Southland TimesOPINION:
    The Green Party is crystal-clear on what our rivers should be – that is, clear enough to swim in.

    The present Government has set its expectations at ”good enough to float a boat on”, which means that most of our polluted rivers are by their standards, good enough. The Greens say no to that, knowing that New Zealand rivers have been clean enough for safe swimming in the past and should be again, as soon as possible.

    It’s aspirational and inspirational stuff from the Green Party and anyone who swam through every summer of their childhood in clear, cool rivers as I did, will want the same thing for their children and grandchildren. It’s not good enough to set your standards low with ”okay for wading” when ”safe for swimming” is achievable. It’s what New Zealanders want and it’s only the Greens who can make it a reality.”


  6. TraceyS says:

    Businesses use the “commons” of state education for their private benefit. Some more than others. They pay the same flat tax rate on profits whether they achieve them through an educated workforce or a relatively uneducated one. In the Greens logic this is using a public good for private gain. So will we see a tax proposed on white-collar employment in future?


  7. Reductio ad absurdum Tracey, is so passé


  8. TraceyS says:

    ^ Just utilising the imagination you accuse me of not having.

    The Green’s policies are control-freakish, Robert, so it’s not too much of a leap.


  9. murray grimwood says:

    TraceyS – the only way our society gets to real sustainability, is via altruism. I don’t know of any society where long-term voluntary altruism has succeeded, so control will indeed be needed.

    It will need an intelligent society indeed – several orders of magnitude greater than our current one – to both understand the need for altruism, and to keep a check on those needed to ensure it happens.

    It’s Russian roulette too; any slip-up is one too many, and no prizes for each sequential avoidance


  10. Mr E says:

    Altruism and control are largely mutually exclusive.
    More altruism wont happen with more control. All that will end up happening is state control, no progress and rebellion.

    Education is the answer Murray. Not control. If you think the government is better at ‘sustainable control’ of the environment than the people you are wrong.

    The Greens policies wreak of unsustainability.


  11. TraceyS says:

    Nicely put Mr E. I see altruism succeeding every day and it is usually where control is less. But of course there will always be a need for some control – the less the better.

    An intelligent society is needed, yes, but a feeling society is more important.

    And by that I am not ascribing to the emotive campaigning around child poverty. Having grown up fairly disadvantaged myself, getting that pointed out to me was about the worst thing imaginable at the time. Until then I never considered I was any different to anyone else. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are a member of some underclass, even, or perhaps more so, when those using your feelings as collateral think it is all someone else’s fault and responsibility to fix.


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