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The Huka Falls in Taupo, Central North Island NZ

Water has become 'Blue Gold'

You may not be aware perhaps that water is fast becoming the new 'gold'.

This was foretold by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke in their book called 'Blue Gold the Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water' (2001), a very interesting and informative read. (The documentary of the same name is on Bitchute.)

Water is frequently the subject of my painting. Mainstream now speaks about the memory that water has. Māori however, have always acknowledged the 'mauri' or life force in water. It is concerning that the authorities historically & to the present day have polluted our water resources with impunity. (Read the history of Lake Horowhenua, a case in point, one of the top ten most polluted lakes in NZ). Read how local Council dealt with any departure from the official clean green narrative. One councilor, now former Mayor is quoted as saying that "Central Govt, Horizons and Horowhenua DC are Serial Polluters of our Water-Ways”

Government websites frequently cite their adherence to sustainable development practices... and have done for some time. Meanwhile they grant consents for industry to discharge their pollutants into waterways. They don't walk the talk. Since the implementaion of SDGs from the early '90s, pollution has in fact worsened. Whilst living in the Horowhenua, NZ, I looked closely at this problem. Councilors there at the time, including local iwi, regularly exposed the polluting practices of councils. In spite of the 'Clean Green' lie propounded about NZ in media world wide, NZ is far from clean and green.

Here in NZ recent folk in recent years have asked the question: 'who owns our water?
said the current PM at the time, John Key ...  having condoned a Hawke's Bay bottling plant (Chinese owned) pretty cheap rights to bottle and export 900 million liters per year. While locals who wish to water their orchards are required to pay for it.  Read the explanations for this and to the average citizen they sound like gobbledy gook ... citing the Resource Management Act (RMA) and spun in legal rhetoric most of us can't understand. This is the way of big business.

NZ's Maori King, King Tuheitia says Maori "have always owned the water."  In August 2012, the Waitangi Tribunal found that Māori still have residual proprietary rights in water and the Crown would breach the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi if it went ahead with the sale of State owned power company share sales. Maori customary title, according to the 2003 "Ngati Apa" decision of the Court of Appeal, must be lawfully extinguished before it can be regarded as ceasing to exist. Customary rights, although not ownership in a Lockean sense, says the NZ Herald, still represent more than the relegation of Maori to being non-owners of non-ownable water. Indeed, when acquiring the land for the Crown, the Queen solemnly agreed for Maori to retain "full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess..."

Still it appears perfectly legal in the case of Hawke's Bay, for the local council there to sell an offshore corporation the rights to extract large quantities, even though, as John Key argues, nobody owns it.

Nobody owns it it would seem, until someone wants to make a profit from it.

For the purposes of introduction here, water and one's right to it is becoming somewhat complicated.  There are places on the planet where the powers that be have integrated into law the prohibition of collecting it for personal consumption. As insane as this may sound it is factually true. As always, follow the money trail.

Corporations are seeking to privatise our water commons for a profit (and yes it was always considered that one's right to water is sacrosanct). Exemplifying their typical avarice for more and more profits, they seek to gobble up all the water resources and rights to them it seems, and sell them back to us at exorbitant prices.

The company Nestlé is guilty of this. Whilst its chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe  proclaims water is a human right, the company is busily selling off drought-stricken California's water. Nestle owns 70% of the world's bottled water brands.

This is the way of corporations. They are seldom for the people and always for their shareholders. Separate entities with legal personhood they manage to do just about anything their shareholders wish for them to do whilst escaping accountability for any damage they incur.

A few years back in Cochabamba Bolivia, a large corporation had privatised the water and was charging around half the income of the poor to buy it off them. So oppressive did this become it ended up with riots and even loss of life to oust the corporation and return to the previous status quo.  Corporations are not generally kindly companies that wish to help people. (Please watch 'The Corporation' movie).  Any intimation from them that they wish you well is generally just rhetoric to appease you or persuade you you to buy.  This attack on the rights of people to drink the essence of life, (and it is well established that water is essential to life itself) is a huge attack on our ultimate freedoms. Fifty years ago this line of thinking would be unheard of ... unthinkable. Fifty years ago in NZ, most households had their own water tanks to collect rainwater. That was standard practice. And yet, today it is being put to us as being right and proper that we should not be collecting it at all. We have been seriously duped by little increments that corporations can, but we the people can't.

Welcome then to the water wars. And I've not even touched on water pollution and our health. If the water wars are new to you begin by watching the documentary Blue Gold. 

Also essential reading is Deborah Tavares' site called Far from the created shortage we see, courtesy of profiteering corporations, Deborah explains the endless source called primary water.

I will leave that topic for another post.