Jamie Mackay: Jacinda Ardern and the water tax - NZ Herald

In a farming week dominated by a soggy start to spring, a slight fall in dairy prices and the decline of our national sheep flock to just 27.34 million, one story has dominated the rural headlines.

Labour's proposed water tax, and let's not water it down by calling it a royalty, has really antagonised farmers. And it's probably fair to say quite a bit of fake news, to use Trump vernacular, has been bandied about by both sides of the argument.

Wily old Winston, he of the self-satisfied Cheshire cat grin disposition, has led the charge with his anecdotal $18 cabbages.

For her part, the effervescently charming Jacinda Ardern has channelled her own "I'm happy to be the MP for Tauranga" rhetoric with her constant reminders of her rural upbringing in Morrinsville and how she hasn't given up on the farmer vote. If that's the case she has a strange way of showing her affection!

Every man and his dog have been happy to wade in. The likes of the Greens, Greenpeace and Forest and Bird in the red corner, with the Nats, New Zealand First, Federated Farmers and Irrigation New Zealand in the blue corner.

The latter organisation even publically challenged Jacinda (she's only been in the job two minutes and already she's known only by her Christian name, an honour reserved for the likes of Winston and Richie) to answer the questions New Zealanders deserve to know when it comes to the water tax.

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