Central Otago's fruit and horticultural industries will become "unviable" and dairy conversions spread if Labour's irrigation tax plan becomes law, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says.
Cadogan has joined the chorus of outrage at Labour's proposed irrigation tax and written a letter to Opposition Leader Jacinda Ardern expressing concern at the plan.
Ardern has said a Labour government would charge businesses, including farmers and drink bottlers, for water. They would "differentiate" water based on source, quantity, and destination. Royalties would largely be returned to regional councils to clean up waterway
Cadogan said the rural community had met the announcement with "fear and dismay" and the proposal would be "grossly unfair" to Central Otago.