Vote Compass: New Zealanders want water bottling companies to pay up

Andrew Macfarlane
Source: 1News

An overwhelming number of New Zealanders think the Government should charge companies exporting water a royalty.

That's one of the latest findings from TVNZ's Vote Compass tool, which has now been used by more than 170,000 people. 

Voters were asked if "the Government should impose a royalty on companies that export New Zealand water."

Ninety per cent of people agreed with the idea.

Just 5 per cent of the population doesn't know or is neutral, and only 4 per cent disagree with the idea.

Associate Professor at Auckland University Jennifer Lees-Marshment, one of the academics involved in Vote Compass, says the topic has clearly resonated with New Zealanders.

"The very strong support for this suggests a general concern at New Zealand being exploited," she says.

Vote Compass researchers also note that there's no evidence in the data of partisan divide.

Most Labour, National, ACT, NZ First and Green voters strongly agree with royalty payments for bottling companies.

Over 170,000 people have now used TVNZ’s Vote Compass tool, and about 90 per cent are in favour of charging water exporters.


Data also shows the majority of New Zealanders want more action on greenhouse gas reductions.

Sixty per cent of people think more should be done, while 28 per cent think the country's current efforts are enough.

Meanwhile 11 per cent of the population thinks New Zealand should be doing less. 

Lees-Marshment says support has decreased since the last election, suggesting the appetite for tighter regulation has dropped slightly. 

She warns this could spell bad news for the Green Party, with 93 per cent of their voters saying they want more action.

"[This] may suggest disappointment with the party's performance in power, with the watering down of the Zero Carbon Act, and could potentially suggest dissatisfaction amongst their core supporters," she says.

"They will need to be communicating carefully with their internal market to ensure they turn out to vote in the election."

To take part in Vote Compass, a survey tool which shows users how their views match up with party policies, go to

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in New Zealand exclusively by TVNZ. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected. Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by gender, age, education, language, region and past vote to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of New Zealand according to census data and other population estimates.