New survey: Most Kiwis want farmers to pay for water

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

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.

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

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

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.

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



Navy ship to be sent to Marsden Point to help with jet fuel leak problem

The government says it will send the HMNZS Endeavour to Marsden Point tomorrow to help with logistics in solving the jet fuel leak problem.

That's the word from a government working group looking at every possible option. Source: 1 NEWS

A fuel pipeline between Refining NZ's Marsden Point plant and Auckland Airport ruptured last week, spilling about 80,000 litres of jet fuel onto a farm in Ruakaka before it was shut off.

Auckland Airport and some petrol stations have since suffered from fuel shortages, with thousands of airline passengers affected by reduced schedules and cancellations.

Reports indicate the leak was likely caused by someone using an excavator on farmland to dig for valuable ancient swamp kauri wood, and accidentally scraping the corrosion-resistant lining off the pipeline, eventually leading to it rusting and failing.

Minister of Energy and Resources Judith Collins said in a release today and industry-government group has today been set up to oversee the restoration of the fuel pipe, which began operation in 1985.

The group contains representatives from ExxonMobil, Z Energy, BP, Air New Zealand, KiwiRail, Auckland Council, Auckland Airport, Auckland Transport, New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the Ministry of Transport.

Fuel Industry spokesman Andrew McNaught updates Breakfast on the effort to get fuel to Auckland. Source: Breakfast

"The Group is working full time until issues are resolved, to streamline information flows and ensure logistics are effectively managed," Ms Collins said in the release.

Ms Collins said in the release the NZDF would be able to contribute in terms of trucks and drivers.

"It is part of the government's wider response to support industry efforts to address the disruption."

Ms Collins said it as being made easier to get overweight permits for fuel trucks in order to improve supply by road.

The NZDF was asked by the industry-government group to send the Endeavour, which will set sail tomorrow morning at 11am.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS


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Opinion: Betting on election outcome a fool's game, but scenarios don't look good for Bill English

Only a fool would make predictions on the outcome of this coming Saturday's general election. But here goes. Here are the questions which everyone is asking. And here are some answers.

Who is going to win?

Source: 1 NEWS

The oracles have spoken. The high priests and priestesses have passed judgment.

The betting —literally — is that Labour will be the victor by a narrow margin.

Take a look at the most right and left-leaning electorates in New Zealand according to 200,000 Vote Compass results. Source: 1 NEWS

That is the unanimous verdict of Australia’s biggest bookies. New Zealand’s TAB does not yet offer betting on what it calls “novelty prediction events”.

Across the Tasman, however, the likes of Centrebet, William Hill and Sportsbet are paying around $1.83 on Labour being the party whose leader will be sworn in as prime minister once post-election negotiations have determined who governs.

Those agencies are offering as much as $2.30 on National’s leader ending up with the top job. (For the record, a $1 bet on Winston Peters or James Shaw would return $73 if either leader became prime minister. This election has witnessed much in the way of big  surprises, but flying pigs have yet to be one of them.)

Bill English met orchard workers in Hawke's Bay while Jacinda Ardern went walkabout in Whanganui. Source: 1 NEWS

What is worth noting is that the Aussie bookmakers are not defining victory according to which party wins the most seats, but which party “delivers” the prime minister.

In every one of the seven elections held since New Zealand’s adoption of a proportional representation voting system, the party winning the most seats has gone on to form the government.

Things may turn out to be very different in 2017. It is very possible that the parties with the second and third biggest share of the vote — most likely Labour and New Zealand First — may co-operate to shut National— the party favoured to win the biggest share — out of of power.

On current polling, National is averaging around 42 per cent of the vote — a level which would see that party securing around 54 seats — six less than it has now. 

That would leave Bill English seven short of a majority and without enough friends to make up the difference. Peter Dunne is gone. The Maori Party may likewise no longer be in Parliament.

Voters in the Auckland constituency of Epsom might rebel and ignore the ongoing instruction from on high to cast their electorate vote for Act’s David Seymour.

The confident NZ First leader today called this election "a three way fight". Source: 1 NEWS

Labour, which is averaging about 40 per cent, would win about 51 seats — a whopping 19 more than the party currently holds.

While voter backing for New Zealand First has been on the slide, Winston Peters can expect to return to Parliament with at least 10 seats under his belt and — under the above scenario — the balance of power seemingly in his pocket.

If the numbers fall that way on election night, the “monarch-maker” may find the decision as to with whom he goes into government has been made for him, however.

First, if Labour wins more seats than National on Saturday, there will be a change of government full stop. Peters could not ignore such a hurricane-force gale for change.

Opting instead to prop up a fourth-term National-led government would be to sign his own party’s death warrant.

Second, those constraints on Peters’ negotiating power will still apply, although to a lesser degree, if National wins the most seats but only two or three more than Labour as in the above scenario.

English’s hopes of victory depend on him either securing sufficient numbers in the House to enable National to rule alone or getting very close to it, or, for “Jacindamania” to fail to translate into votes for Labour to the extent the polls have been indicating.

If English cannot make headway on either score, Jacinda Ardern and Peters could contemplate forming a two-party coalition.

It is not uncommon in Scandinavian democracies for the largest party to find itself excluded from a governing arrangement.

All the above should not be regarded as predictive. It simply outlines the more likely scenarios in the mix on Saturday night. Not much of it adds up to good news for English, however.

Will the Greens still have MPs in Parliament once the votes are counted?

Yes. The Greens have enough friends in the inner suburbs of metropolitan New Zealand who are willing to forego casting their party vote for Labour to ensure their centre-left allies are not cast into the wilderness.

Kaitaia could get funding for a sports centre if Labour win, while National has promised a velodrome upgrade for Whanganui. Source: 1 NEWS

These voters have another motive for ensuring the Greens do not fall below the 5 per cent threshold. The arithmetic of MMP means the wasted votes for the Greens would mean more seats for National.

Will the Maori Party survive?

Goodbye Te Ururoa Flavell. The Maori Party currently holds only one of the seven Maori electorates. A resurgent Labour Party is about to reduce that number to zero.

Will Gareth Morgan and The Opportunities Party climb above the 5 per per cent threshold and into Parliament?

You really can teach an old dog (or cat) old tricks.

TOP says it  commissioned a market research company to get a handle on voters’ attitudes to the fledgling party.

TOP says between 4 to 5 per cent of voters were either committed to voting for the party or were  “most likely” to do so, while another 11 per cent were “considering” voting for TOP.

Such findings are designed to allay voter fears that a vote for the party is a wasted vote. To the party’s credit, it is upfront about the purpose of such research.

If Morgan and his fellow political neophytes are to escape the “wasted vote syndrome”, however, the party needs to register support at around the 6 to 7 per cent mark in both of the two remaining television polls prior to Saturday.

Even then voters would want confirmation that such backing was part of a trend and not just a one-off. It is too late for that. Time has run out for TOP— at least at this election.

Will Hone Harawira return to Parliament as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau after three years on the outer?

Hone who?