Stop the sale of billions of litres of Canterbury’s purest water!

Imagine you’ve just been told your kids’ sports games have been cancelled for the rest of the month. You're told the field is too dry because of drought. [1]

Imagine then finding out through the national news that the District Councillors just an hour up the road from you are negotiating a backroom deal to sell off billions of litres of pure artesian water from your region to corporate interests so they can sell bottled water. [2]

Imagine that Councillors did that at the same time as encouraging local residents (that’s you) to cut back on their personal water use. [3] Imagine all of that happening with absolutely no consultation with ratepayers or the local iwi Ngāi Tahu. [4]

That’s exactly what is happening in Ashburton right now.

The Ashburton District Council is negotiating the sale of 40 billion litres of pure water from the town’s aquifers to a bottled-water company called “NZ Pure Blue”. That’s 45 litres of water per second drained from the town’s residents until 2046. [5]

Local council elections are just six months away. That means the elected officials behind this backroom deal are extremely vulnerable to public pressure. This water will be simply siphoned off, bottled and shipped abroad for massive corporate profit. We can’t let that happen.

Tell the Ashburton council to stop sucking the Canterbury Plains dry.

We’re partnering up with our friends at SumOfUs, and reaching out to local Ashburton groups to deliver a giant petition to Ashburton councillors to say that we are opposed to these backroom dodgy deals that handover control of our most precious resource - water - to corporate billionaires.

If enough of us raise our voice here, we can stop this sale.

One councillor has already broken ranks. The people of Ashburton will not "be thanking us in 30 years’ time,” said councillor Ken Cutworth, “for allowing people to almost suck water out with impunity.” It’s bad enough that the council thinks nothing of draining this nationally treasured resource -- but the secrecy of the deal and lack of consultation is unconscionable.

Local group ‘Bung The Bore’ have have already rallied around the issue getting national media attention. What we need now is to make sure we keep the pressure up and keep these story in the headlines. [6]

Join us and demand the Ashburton District Council to save Canterbury’s water for future generations. 


  1. ChCh fields too dry for rugby, Radio New Zealand

  2. Council to sell rights to bottled water company, Radio New Zealand

  3. Let’s get through summer without water restrictions, Ashburton Guardian

  4. For sale: 40 billion litres of Canterbury’s purest water, Stuff

  5. Would be Ashburton-water-bottling company named, Radio New Zealand

  6. Bung the Bore Facebook page


"To Ashburton District Council,

Stop selling billions of litres of Canterbury's purest water!"

50,000 signatures

Will you sign?

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