As everyone on the left never tires of pointing out, we had thirty years of neo-liberalism in New Zealand. But we don’t seem to have an abundance of capitalism. On the contrary:
Oravida is exporting millions of litres of New Zealand water to China, and the Green Party says it is wrong that they are paying practically nothing for it, while potentially making hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oravida pays about $500 a year to draw up to 400,000 litres of water a day from the Otakiri Aquifer in Bay of Plenty.
This will allow the company to take up to 146 million litres a year from the aquifer until 2026.
An Environment Bay of Plenty spokesperson said Oravida had paid a total $1503 for the consents since 1992, and last year paid $526 dollars in compliance costs.
Oravida managing director Julia Xu has been quoted in media reports saying that the company sells its water in China for $1.60 a litre. If it sold all 146 million litres of water at that price, it would make sales of $233 million a year.
We have endless crackdowns on benefit fraudsters to make sure they’re not scamming a few extra dollars from the state, and at the same time we’re literally giving away almost a quarter of a billion dollars a year in commodities to a company with close links to the National government. Tell me more about what a business genius Key is, and how fiscal and dour and prudent and sensible Bill English is while they hemorrhage valuable resources away for nothing.
If there’s a gap in the political spectrum anywhere in New Zealand its here. You could start a political party that stands for what the National Party pretends to stand for – markets, individual freedom, democracy, equal opportunity – and its manifesto would be to do the exact opposite of everything Key, English, Joyce and McCully have done in the past eight years.