Water storage to unlock economic potential

A National Government will utilise water to grow our economy and ensure better outcomes for our towns, cities and regions, Leader of the National Party Judith Collins says.

You can read our 'Investing in our Water Resources' Policy Factsheet here.

“National wants a strategy and model that allows us to unlock our economic potential and safeguard our communities from increasing drought.

“Done correctly, water storage can be equal parts beneficial to the environment, economy and community.

"National will support local government to develop the three waters infrastructure, which will include clean water infrastructure and storage. The new National Infrastructure Bank will be able to provide professional advice and finance models to enable the delivery of vital new infrastructure.

“The recent Auckland water crisis highlighted the need for more to be done. Cities like Auckland need a resilient and clean water supply to continue being a world class city, and to make sure we can deal with the economic crisis we are facing.

“National knows we need to grow ourselves out of this economic crisis. This initiative will help New Zealand businesses increase their productivity and resilience.

National will:

  • Establish a fund within the National Infrastructure Bank with $600 million to develop a long term plan for water storage.

  • Develop a National Policy Statement on Water Storage to provide certainty around the strategic use of water, streamline consenting and set minimum environmental standards for newly irrigated land.

  • Guarantee common ownership of water for all New Zealanders.

  • Treat water as a prime strategic resource, recognising the importance of water storage for resilience, urban water supply, enhanced environmental outcomes, and better land use options in rural communities.

“Currently less than 2 per cent of the water that flows over New Zealand is captured. About half of this is used in our towns and cities and the other half for irrigation. Our country has water, we’re just not using it,” Mr Simpson says.

“It also improves water flows and recharges aquifers, bolsters municipal water supplies and provides vital food security by ensuring crops don’t wither up and stock are well fed and watered.”

“We will ensure there is a commitment from farmers with access to water to farm within existing limits and meet the highest environmental standards possible, and I am confident they will achieve this,” Mr Bennett says.

“Having reliable access to water will allow us to develop more high value crops and will expand our rural economy. Horticulture exports have grown by 50 per cent over the past four years and water storage will help this grow even further.

“We can’t keep letting our water flow out to sea while our towns run out of water and our farms dry up. National will provide water storage that delivers for your business, delivers for your environment and delivers for your community.”

You can read our 'Investing in our Water Resources' Policy Factsheet here.