New survey: Most Kiwis want farmers to pay for water

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NZN

A new survey shows most Kiwis want to see charging for water being taken from the environment, including by farmers.

Hundreds of Canterbury farmers cheered the National Party leader as he promised never to introduce a water tax.
Source: 1 NEWS

The majority of New Zealanders want farmers to be charged for water use, a new survey shows.

The nationwide survey, carried out by Water New Zealand, polled 4500 people in May and June and sought to gauge what Kiwis think about issues associated with water use.

It has become a keenly debated political topic, with farmers recently protesting a proposed tax by Labour on water usage.

The controversial tax will also hit some dairy farmers and wine makers, as well as water bottlers.
Source: 1 NEWS

The majority of respondents to the survey - 89 per cent - are concerned about poor water quality in this country, WNZ chief executive John Pfahlert says.

"People understand how extraction, climate issues and pollution are impacting on our water resources and the quality of waterways," he said.

Eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed want commercial water users - such as water bottlers - to be charged, while 77 per cent said agriculture and horticulture users should pay for water.

One in three respondents are uncertain that drinking water providers adequately plan for the future.

Fifty-nine per cent of all respondents said all water users should pay.

In response, Federated Farmers is repeating its call that no one in New Zealand pays for water.

"All we pay for in New Zealand is the right to access the water and to cover the cost of [its delivery]," the organisation's spokesman Chris Allen says.

"In this election campaign, politicians are attempting to brainwash Kiwis into thinking farmers are getting something for free that others pay for. They aren't.

"Water. Nobody pays for it."

The survey responses were consistent across city, regional and rural areas, Mr Pfahlert said.

"The survey aims to provide water service providers, including local and central government, with a deeper understanding of customers' views and understanding of water issues.

"This will help the development of relevant and sustainable policies around water," he said.

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