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Water bottling idea criticised as 'dangerous' economic thinking

out the impacts of nitrates in Canterbury's water, and we don't yet know what impacts climate change will have.

Lobby group Aotearoa Water Action (AWA), who have taken legal action against foreign-owned bottling firms in Christchurch, are also opposed.

Spokesperson Peter Richardson described the idea as "dangerous, short-term boom and bust economic thinking, in an era where we can't afford it."

He said Christchurch already has over-allocated and fully-allocated aquifers, and is in a period of population growth.

"If we believed there were legal grounds for challenging it, we would do so."

But Mr Keown is confident that Canterbury's water won't run out.

He said the Belfast-based, Chinese-owned company Cloud Ocean Water, that has faced staunch opposition from groups like AWA, only takes 0.25 percent of the allocated water that comes out of the ground in Christchurch.

"Our water's not going to run out and it will never run out here," he said.

He intends to discuss his idea with the council and with local iwi representatives. Initial feedback from iwi has been positive, he said.

"If council go against it and say no, we don't want to be involved in water bottling, we don't think we should support any of this industry, then I think it will become an election issue," he said.

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