Thursday, 31 August 2017 15:50

Viral video blasts Labour’s water-tax

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A scene from the video. A scene from the video.

A farmer-made video opposing Labour’s proposed water tax has garnered praise and support.

At the time of writing, the video had received almost 350 shares and 100 reactions on Facebook.

The video by Water Maniototo says the water tax could end up costing Maniototo irrigators nearly $2.3 million annually, hindering farmer’s financial security and drawing money out of the local community.

Emma, a Central Otago farmer featuring in the video, says the tax may push Maniototo farmers into more intensive farming operations. The region consists mostly of non-intensive sheep and beef farming operations. Emma says the nationwide tax will be a massive hit to these less intensive farming operations, leaving farmers like herself with three options: sell a portion of their water allocation, sell their farm or convert to a dairy farm and a more intensive operation.

Either way, she says, it won’t help water quality.

“The polluter should pay, that’s something we all agree on, but that’s not necessarily the person using the water,” Emma adds. “Water is a natural resource that should be used by all and not just those that can afford to use it.”

Another Central Otago farmer featuring in the video, Kelly, says the water tax will reallocate funds farmers and landowners are using to improve their environmental footprint.

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