So proof that not all scandals are created equal, the Government has granted permission for Chinese company Nongfu Spring to buy a chunk of land near Whakatane.
The company will send water offshore.

Now before the election this, of course, was outrageous. There was upset across the land as councils signed deals with companies that would bottle our water, stick a picture of a snowy mountain on it and make a fortune.

Locals picketed and protested, we all wondered how any of this was possible - and yet here we are, seven or eight short months later and another company has a rubber stamp.
The land, by the way, was classed as sensitive.

Government signs off on Chinese water bottling expansion in Whakatane


But - and here's why it got sign off and here's why most of these sort of stories were pumped up for political purposes - this company has promised investment and jobs.

The Government said the company was making substantial and identifiable benefits to this country. And who was it that signed it off? Eugenie Sage no less.

Yes, she of the Greens, she of the protector of the land and our resource, she of the fortress mentality against the foreign raping and pillaging of our Earth.

Not that I am complaining, she's made the right call. But how ironic that last year this is all a scandal and this year it's barely even news.

Now the only part of these stories I don't get is why we aren't we clipping the ticket? Why, when they apply to the councils to send millions of litres offshore, aren't the councils creaming it? And why isn't that money then returned to the community in some sort of dividend? And further, why haven't we been into this business like robbers' dogs?

The reason it got so controversial, of course, is the Asian connection. We have a big enough collection of xenophobes in this country to get rarked up anytime an Asian touches anything.

But for all our upset, how come we aren't dominating our own industry? Why is it the foreigners can see the benefits and profits in pulling water out of the ground and sending it overseas, and we presumably can't?

And given that, why are we complaining? It's not dissimilar to foreigners buying land. The land is for sale to everyone. If it's so special and so worth protecting why aren't we all lined up?

When offered the opportunity, we don't want it. And then having passed, we then complain when someone from overseas says 'I'll have a piece of that'.


Anyway, it's like common sense has arrived. We're not short of water, nowhere even close, so the noise around the water export market has been hyped for political purposes driven by our fear of foreigners.

Maybe now that Aunty Eugenie says it's okay, all those freaking out can settle down.