Q & A today

Today on NZ Q & A (TV1, 9 am):

Hawkes Bay water bottling

Whena Owen returns to Hawke’s Bay where she finds growing tension over the region’s burgeoning water bottling business.

Water bottling, especially for export, and especially with foreign owned companies involved, its a very contentious issue.

It’s also quite complex. Currently water is free for everyone in New Zealand, unless you choose to buy a supply that has cost money to provide it to you.

If water was charged for who would receive the income? The property owner where the water was sourced? The property owner of the source of the water? The Government? Iwi?

Should we all pay for all of the water we use?

Is rain free? Or could it be taxed?

Immigration and economic growth

Political Editor Corin Dann sits down with Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf – his take on the immigration debate plus the risks facing our economic growth.

Waikato War defined New Zealand History

We have the first look at a new book that claims the Waikato War was the defining battle in New Zealand history – not Gallipoli. Historian Dr Vincent O’Malley talks about The Great War for New Zealand with Dita de Boni.


I don’t think the Waikato wars can be defined as ‘the defining battle in New Zealand history, but it is a very significant period in our history that deserves more attention and commemoration.




Leave a comment


  1. unitedtribes2

     /  2nd October 2016

    I was involved in Food Processing in Hawkes Bay. At one stage I investigated bottling water for export to USA. It didn’t happen but I established that there was no profit to be made from the water itself. If you invested a huge amount of money in plant you may make a small margin from the value of the packaging. The water otherwise continued unde ground and bubbled up 30 kilometres out to sea in Hawkes Bay. Probably found its way to USA on its own.

  2. “Should we all pay for all of the water we use?”

    No, it would be like paying for air. Paying for air and water is only relevant for commercial use, especially relating to pollution. Ethical water use is closely tied to the law of the land, as consistent with the law of nature.

  3. “Should we all pay for all of the water we use?”…. come on what do you think your regional and local council taxes pay for? You turn on the tap and a miracle occurs out pops potable water?

    Sometimes I despair. Potable water is provide by your council paid for by your rates, though in some areas like Auckland, you pay a separate water usage fee based on litres taken… we all pay for it directly as rate payers of indirectly via our rents which fund the landlord paying the rates.

    The raw material is just a by product of nature – no one owns it and domestic supply, in my view, should be provided on a cost recovery basis only. Taking water to bottle and sell should be a permit only activity which generates funds for the local district…

    • I agree dave1924, and I believe the funds generated should be high enough to include the ‘real cost’ of pollution created by millions upon millions of plastic bottles in our environment …

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd October 2016

      Auction it, Dave.

      • Al – for commercial and industrial purposes YES. Send a market signal to business users that clean water is a valuable resource and needs to used as an input at full value, including cleaning and purifying after use.

        For residential uses no – basic need so cost recovery only, though I think your comment was aimed at my last sentence re bottling by permit…

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  2nd October 2016

          Yep. However, there are different categories of potential ownership to sort out – eg: river, roof, pond, aquifer.


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