Bottled Water Rights Challenged

 Hutt South MP Ginny Anderson receiving a petition from Niki Gladding of Aotearoa Water Action calling for a moratorium on new water bottling applications pending an inquiry.

Photo: Jim Chipp

Keywords: Aotearoa Water Action, water bottling, Cloud Ocean, Natural Resources


Hutt South MP Ginny Anderson has accepted a call for the taps to be turned off on the water bottling industry.

Aotearoa Water Action member and Queenstown Lakes District councillor Niki Gladding presented Anderson with an 11,000-signature petition on Tuesday (17/8), calling on the government to prohibit new water bottling consents.

Gladding said: “We’re asking for a moratorium on new water bottling applications.

“We’re also asking for an inquiry into the effects of the industry and the ability of the regulatory and policy framework to manage those effects.”

She said a sizeable majority of councils has also agreed to work with the government to place a moratorium on applications for water bottling or bulk export.

“We’re looking forward to the government finally taking this issue seriously,” Gladding said. 

Later that morning AWA began presenting its case in the Wellington Court of Appeal against the water permits granted to Cloud Ocean Water Limited and Rapaki Natural Resources Limited to bottle and export up to seven billion litres of water every year from an aquifer in Belfast, Christchurch.

Christchurch runanga Ngai Tuahuriri, which opposes the granting of the water permits on cultural grounds, is also arguing its case that the permits should be cancelled.

A High Court judgement in 2020 upheld the permits granted by Environment Canterbury, relying on old consents granted for a freezing works and wool scour, which had ceased to operate some time ago.

The rights were later transferred to new landowners, who now plan to bottle and export the water.

AWA co-convenor Mike Currie would like to say thanks to everyone who’s helped AWA to get to the Court of Appeal.

“We couldn’t have done it without our team of supporters.”

Copyright © 2021 Aotearoa Water Action, All rights reserved.

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