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Labour’s proposed water tax would be disastrous for Horowhenua’s famous horticulture industry, says Otaki MP Nathan Guy.

“Horticulture is a crucial part of Horowhenua’s economy. Our region is famous for being the vegetable bowl of the lower North Island but this tax would cost jobs and hurt the local economy.

“There are 38 irrigation consents in the Horowhenua area for the primary sector, with the majority of these supporting fresh vegetable production. All of these local employers need a reliable source of water over summer and would be hit hard by Labour’s water tax.

“A tax on water will push up the price of vegetables, making some businesses uneconomic and putting local jobs at risk.

“It just makes no economic or environmental sense to punish these small, innovative and successful local companies.

“Adding to the stress and uncertainty is that Labour refuses to say what level the tax would be until after the election. This is a dishonest and unfair way to treat local companies.”

The primary sector in Horowhenua is worth around $136 million and employs 1749 people. Within that, horticulture is worth $25.8m and provides 354 jobs.

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