Exporters need an enduring, cross-party agreement on water policy so they have the confidence to continue to invest in their businesses into the future, says ExportNZ.
ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard said if a price is to be put on water it should be consistent across all water users and should be tradeable so that water can be allocated to the most efficient use at the most competitive price.
“Historical investment by businesses that use water should not be undermined, and any tradable rights should relate to future use, to allow an affordable transition and not make current business models unviable,” Catherine Beard said.
“A royalty or tax on water would politicise the allocation of water, whereas tradeable water rights take the politics out of it and give greater certainty for investment.
“Allocation, management and any constraints on water need to be clear and predictable. There are billions of dollars of exports that embody water and how this is handled is hugely important to the economy and to jobs.”