Hawke’s Bay can unite to stop water bottling consents being issued behind closed doors, says Labour Tukituki candidate Anna Lorck.
Following calls from public wanting to take action after finding out the latest water bottling consent was going to a company owned by a convicted fraudster and former bankrupt, Ms Lorck has today helped launch a community action website www.turnthetapoff.co.nz
“We can turn the tap off. People don’t want this poor process which is being done behind closed doors. This is a matter of huge public interest and transparency. The rules need to change,” she said.
“One of these men left Wanganui ratepayers with a quarter of a million clean up bill after his business went bust and the other was jailed for his role in a $2.2 million housing scam. Given the history, it is very concerning that this resource consent has been granted.
“Turn the Tap Off is a way for people to get on board to send a strong public mandate to the decision makers asking for all water bottling consents to be publicly notified as a first step. But we must also look at the whole wider issue around giving our raw resource away for free to water exporters,” she said.
“I’m confident we will see people from across our community uniting on this and I hope that all those newly elected councillors (Saturday) will also stand together and to help stop this consenting process.
“Protecting our aquifer water is our first priority we deserve better than this poor process which is putting our aquifer water and our region’s reputation at risk.
“I feel for the regional council staff who are just doing their jobs It might not be their responsibility to look at the people applying for consents, but it is the responsibility of our regional council to protect our water resource. A simple google of the shareholders would have red flagged this application.
“These water bottling consents rely on a huge amount of trust from the applicant around the taking of water for export. That alone should require due diligence on the applicant.”