Unlike land, water is a material which is cycled through a process of evaporation and precipitation. Few would deny that everyone has a right to water, which is a necessity life. Without water, men die. The Labour party is promoting a policy which would force commercial users of water for irrigation, bottling and the like to pay a tax to the government. This will compel agricultural and other users of water to either go out of business or cause a serious spike in the price of food for the man in the street. Quite rightly farmers are up in arms about the proposal. If a farmer has a dam on his property which is filled periodically by rainfall, the government will soon, if Labour is elected, make that farmer pay a tax for the use of that water, which otherwise would have seeped into the ground and ultimately been lost back into the atmosphere through evaporation. When you think about it, the same logic by Labour will enable them to charge farmers and others for the use of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Livestock require oxygen to live and produce, milk, meat and wool. Crops require carbon dioxide to grow and be available for human consumption.
If New Zealanders accept that governments can claim ownership of water, then they will have no warrant to deny them the ownership of the air they breathe. For the secularist politician believes that the material world came into being by mere chance, and without a Creator, rather than that mankind receives the blessings of air and water through the beneficence of the Creator of all things. The secularist believes that political power gives him (and in Jacinda Arderne’s case ‘her’) and his tribe the control over what are gifts from God. They see the basics of life as material objects to be exploited in order to redistribute the wealth from the producers to the consumers. That the consumers will ultimately pay for this themselves seems to elude the Labour Party and their supporters.
This is why the secular atheistic direction of New Zealand governments in recent decades should frighten the most complacent spectator. God has given us the water and the air to use freely as we need. ‘Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ All good things come from above. And while we expect to pay for goods produced by the industry of others, the elemental necessities of life must remain free. Yes councils can charge water rates to cover the cost of storing, treating and conveying water, but the water itself must remain as free as the air we breathe. Labour has also intimated that they will give Maori tribes ownership of water, and soon New Zealanders will be charged for swimming or fishing in our rivers. This too needs more discussion than the media have given it to date.
Products produced, which require water in some sense, are already taxed, either through GST (goods and services tax), payroll taxes, and taxation on profits. Many complain (perhaps out of jealousy) that water bottlers who take their water from the ground get it for free and should be taxed. However, they also are already taxed. No one is excluded from bottling their own water and marketing it to make an income. Let’s leave the water and the air free.
One good thing might result from Labour’s attack on our basic God-given right to water. Men may begin to question the direction of our atheistic society that grants to politicians the powers belonging to God. Hopefully we will realise before it is too late that this grab for power by the politicians is more in keeping with a national socialist and fascist dictatorship, than with a free society in covenant with God.
Dr. Garnet Milne