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Water bottling consents rise despite Government's pre-election promise to reduce exports

Water bottling consents have increased in New Zealand, despite pledges by the now-Government while in Opposition that action would be taken to stem the growth of water exports. 

In 2017, water bottling permits sat at 74. That has risen to 88, with Canterbury seeing an increase from eight to 18, with another in consideration. 

Bay of Plenty resident Maureen Fraser of Sustainable Otakiri has taken on the world's second biggest water bottler, Nongfu Spring, and a court decision awaits. 

"All over New Zealand there are water allocations and issues with water qualities. 

"We're in 2019 and nothing has changed, we're seeing more and more water bottling consents going through... It's hugely frustrating, especially since Eugenie [Sage] herself said in 2017 she wanted an urgent moratorium," Ms Fraser said. 

The Green Party's policy in 2017 was for an immediate moratorium on new water bottling consents and a 10c/litre levy. NZ First promised a royalty and Labour promised a pricing scheme. 

Now-Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage told TVNZ1's Q+A to pose questions to Environment Minister David Parker about bottling. 

Mr Parker said the Government were not proposing a moratorium, however he was looking at a bottling levy which would be presented to Cabinet. 

Matt Tukaki, executive director of the Māori Council said Māori "need to get into the business of proposing what it needs to look like, including the revenue model, including the levy or royalties". 

This week, the combined community water groups will launch a petition to ban any new consents, to allow time for a review. The groups are confident some councils would sign, and want backing from iwi groups. 

Watch the full Q+A investigation below.

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In opposition, the Coalition parties promised action on foreign companies bottling and exporting NZ water. Two years on, our reporter Whena Owen reveals the industry is in full flow. Source: Q+A

Q+A is on TVNZ1 Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.

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In opposition, the Coalition parties promised action on foreign companies bottling and exporting NZ water. Two years on, our reporter Whena Owen reveals the industry is in full flow. Source: Q+A