Reframing our Water as a Commons


I’m reblogging this because the current (Spring) sprinkler ban by Hastings District Council has once again raised the whole issue of why – oh for heaven’s sake why – we give our water – *our* water – away to an outside water bottling plant, rationalised with all the empty rhetoric and clichés like “this is simply the market allocating resources,” or “investment, jobs and GDP.” Such ordinary thinking. Such ignorance of our wider world.

Some are now calling for ignoring the sprinkler ban in order to highlight our discontent. It has certainly raised the issue and kept it in the public eye – and hopefully it will make the councillors responsible realise that they need to demonstrate thinking beyond merely the wording of the regulations and ‘resource management plans’. We are not happy with your financial deal maker thinking on this issue Mr National Party politician, though for most it will be enough to make a vocal stand, and keep our sprinklers off.

Chris Perley's Blog

This article was published in the Hawke’s Bay Today following the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s (HBRC) decision to allow an overseas water bottling plant to take water from the high quality aquifer that lies beneath the cities of Hasting and Napier.  Within New Zealand law the is no single ‘owner’ of this ‘resource’, in part because indigenous Maori are opposed to making something that is essential to our being into a mere economic ‘resource’.  Ko au te whenua, Ko te whenua ko au (I am the land, and the land is me).  This is not a view shared only by Maori.  It is a view of most if not all indigenous thinking, including the thinking of the European tribes before the Scientific Revolution and the rise of a world where dis-integration and analysis of parts became the order of the day.

This wisdom is now alien to most of our policy makers…

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