July 13, 2016
Groups Celebrate as Ashburton District Council Pulls Out of Secret Water Sale
SumOfUs, ActionStation Praise Decision That Protects Canterbury’s Aquifers and Local Water Resources
NEW ZEALAND – The Ashburton District Council has backed out of negotiations with NZ Pure Blue - a deal that would have allowed the corporation to extract billions of litres of waters from the aquifers beneath the town.
More than 40,000 New Zealanders joined with ActionStation, a community campaigning group, and SumOfUs, an international corporate watchdog, in urging the Ashburton Councillors to reject the deal.
ActionStation helped organise over 60 people to turn up at the Ashburton District Council meeting to deliver the petitions along with the group Bung the Bore, and presented a submission opposing the deal. Along with collecting tens of thousands of signatures, SumOfUs crowd-funded a mobile billboard outside the meeting.
In reaction to the news, Jon Lloyd, New Zealand Campaigns Director for SumOfUs issued the following statement:
“We are glad to see that Ashburton District Councillors listened to the more than 40,000 New Zealanders who opposed the secret giveaway of community water resources. Water is a precious resource, and SumOfUs members around the world will continue to stand up in opposition to corporate water theft wherever it occurs.”
Laura O’Connell Rapira, Campaign Director at ActionStation added:
"Together we’ve sent a firm message that New Zealanders will not stand for these backroom deals and the handover of our most precious resource - water - to corporate interests. The last thing the community needs is a bottled-water company sucking the town dry for profit, especially in a drought-prone region”.