Watch: Consent allowing for 20 billion litres of water to be extracted bought by Chinese investors

Plans for what could be New Zealand's biggest water bottling site have been revealed to 1 NEWS.

Meanwhile, plans for what could be New Zealand's biggest water bottling plant have been revealed to 1 NEWS. Source: 1 NEWS

A lucrative Christchurch water consent, that allows over 20 billion litres of water to be taken over the next 15 years, has just been bought by a group of Chinese investors.

The water consent was purchased along with a dilapidated Kaputone Wool Scour in Belfast just north of Christchurch for $9 million by Cloud Ocean Water, a mineral water company that's 20 per cent owned by offshore Chinese investors.

One of the New Zealand based owners Feng Liang has told 1 NEWS "commercial sensitivity prevents him from releasing details of their intentions for the site, but once the company is fully set up they will be more transparent".

Naturally Pure New Zealand Water Director Phillip Burmester made $3 million on the land sale, and has today revealed he owns a neighbouring site with a water consent, and plans are already underway to build a bottling plant there.

He says "We're due to lodge a building consent, the Kaputone site was three hectares, this is eight hectares with a rail siding. It's a great outcome for all".

ECAN says it's concerned about the effect of the potential water take.

ECAN Acting Consents manager Philip Burge says "We're looking at what the effect is on the aquifer and other neighbouring bores".

Canterbury Water extractors currently face no charges, other than covering the councils monitoring costs.

Labour Environment spokesperson David Parker says "I think New Zealanders will be shocked that we're selling off many litres of water to be sent overseas in bottles without any royalty coming back to New Zealanders. I think it's wrong".