Everybody owns water: A framework for water policy that’s fair to all New Zealanders
Council believes a fair and just water policy will provide for the interests of the natural environment, the general public and Māori.
To provide for these interests, the policy must be founded on an ethic of responsibility in resource use, the concept of the common good and the preservation of natural resources for future generations. Current policy does not balance these responsibilities.
The general public interest
All New Zealanders should have free access to reasonable water supplies for personal domestic needs as a basic human right, and reasonable access to natural water bodies for recreation. The general public interest embodies the interest of all people in maintaining reasonable access to the land and waters of their country in appropriate condition for their physical and spiritual sustenance, for themselves and the coming generations.
The general public interest derives from the alienation of land for European settlement as envisaged in the Treaty of Waitangi with an implied sharing of access to associated water bodies.
However, water has been treated as a limitless, free resource for domestic use, waste disposal and commercial profit. This is inconsistent with the common good and Māori interests, and has led to over-utilisation and pollution of water bodies.
Click on the link below to read the full media statement.