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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Water bottlers welcome public feedback

Posted at 10:14am Friday 15 Dec, 2017

Nongfu Spring has welcomed the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s decision to publicly notify its consent applications to expand the Otakiri Springs water bottling plant

The company says it looks forward to talking and listening to the community about the merits of its proposal.

The private, family-owned company also has consent applications lodged with the Whakatane District Council, but not publicly notified, and has now formally requested these matters be dealt with together in a combined hearing in order to reduce costs for participants and make the process more accessible and efficient.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council consents relate to the expansion and operation of the Otakiri Spring water bottling facility, while the Whakatane District Council consents concern land use activities related to developing the plant.

Nongfu Spring recognises the strong public interest in commercial water use and the sustainable management of the community resource, says Michael Gleissner, director of Nongfu Springs’ subsidiary, Creswell New Zealand.

He says the consenting process will help people better understand the complexities of the water allocation system and the benefits and value water bottling brings to the wider community.

“As we’ve said before, we’re prepared to pay a royalty on the commercial use of water, should the Government decide to impose one, provided it is fair and equitable,” he says.

“We also believe the proceeds from any royalty should be invested back into the Eastern Bay community.”

He says Nongfu Spring has invested considerable time and funds in supporting the local community, including providing water in the wake of the Edgecumbe floods.

“If consent is granted, we will create real local jobs for local people, particularly Maori,” he says.

“When completed, the plant will employ 60 staff (up from eight staff currently) and will deliver considerable benefits to the communities of Te Teko, Kawerau and Whakatane.”

Most of the positions have been earmarked for local Maori as was promised by Nongfu Springs’ Chairman Zhong during meetings with iwi last December, he adds.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has accepted findings from economic research consultancy BERL, which estimates the new jobs and downstream economic impacts of the proposal will add $8.59 million to the regional economy.

Michael says the publicly notified consent hearing will allow Nongfu Spring to speak directly to the community about the job creation, economic benefits and present scientific evidence showing the proposed water take is sustainable and well within the limits set by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Nongfu Spring supports the Council proposal to restrict the water take from the aquifer to not more than 35 per cent of the average annual recharge rate as this will ensure there will always be water in the aquifer for future generations, he says.

Nongfu Spring is committing to the community for the long-term and to the sustainable management of the artesian water resource and looks forward to engaging and supporting the next generations of whānau from Te Teko, Kawerau and Whakatane, says Michael.

 


COMMENTS

Excuse me? Thata is just selfish and wrong.

Posted on 22-12-2017 13:42 | By CC8

Somehow one user thinks that they should be allowed 35% of the annual recharge rate? That leaves 65% to be divvyed up between ALL OTHER USERS? How is that fair and equitable? 3.5% would make a whole lot more sense...If 60 locals are going to benefit directly from the business, how big a proportion of the local population does that represent? Once again why are we sending water to China? Does it not rain in China? Or have they polluted their own atmosphere so badly that the water is contaminated beyond drinking? how many litres of water does that 35 % represent? That is the figure they want to avoid discussing...especially when the tax and revenue is calculated from that figure.... zero tax and billions in revenue..?
50%

Posted on 15-12-2017 23:52 | By Capt_Kaveman

of all profits should go to the council that any spring water is taken from

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