Greens to charge 10c a litre for water

The Green Party is the first in Parliament to put a price on water, saying it wants bottling companies to pay 10 cents per litre they take to sell. 

The tax would apply to both domestic sellers and exporters, and all revenue created from the policy would be divided equally between local councils and mana whenua. 

Councils would be expected to return any money collected back into environmental programmes and drinking water management. 

Party co-leader James Shaw says currently there are about 27 million litres being exported, which would bring in just $2.7 million.

But it's not just bottlers the Greens have targeted - the tax would be a gap-filler to get companies paying before the Greens set up a full water pricing scheme.

That means all commercial users will eventually be charged, including farmers and brewers.

The Greens will establish a working group to determine how much farmers should pay, and will also put an interim ban on any further resource consents for those wanting to take water to sell until the pricing scheme is in place.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll found 87 percent of New Zealanders don't like exporters obtaining water for next-to-nothing then send it offshore for big profits.

Water is one of the Greens' three election priorities and is a bottom line for a coalition deal.

Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party has also announced a water policy, which would see existing water consent holders charged 'market rate' for water, with future consents purchased by auctioned. New Zealand First's water policy would place "a royalty" on water exports.

Peters calls out Greens for 'racial separatism'

 NZ First leader Winston Peters says parties like the Greens would take New Zealand down "the pathway to racial separatism", telling Q&A the party had a "racially jingoistic attitude" towards the ownership of water.

"They are happy for water to be not owned by the people of New Zealand, but rather just some of the people of New Zealand.

"In fact, the Greens believe Māori own the water."

Mr Peters said racially separatist policies were deeply entrenched in the Greens' policies.

NZN / Newshub.