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Legal Challenges Have Not Impeded Nongfu Spring’s NZ Water Bottling Plans – So Far

May 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
New Zealand’s Environment Court and High Court continue to tackle complicated water bottling issues, including the allegation that lax environmental regulation encourages companies such as Nongfu Spring to set up in New Zealand with few barriers. The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has courted the company for several years as an economic development strategy in the face of multiple legal challenges over environmental and other concerns. The Chinese beverage giant, second only to Nestlé in the global production of bottled water, has negotiated with New Zealand government officials, including local Maori elders, over the building of a water bottling plant in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Nongfu’s Shanshan Zhong told the elders of a local tribe his company would be good for the community, and local people would be offered jobs first. It would be the company’s first bottling plant outside of China. Nongfu Spring intends to bottle 580 million liters per year using two state-of-the-art, high speed bottling lines. Almost all of the bottled water would be shipped to China for distribution. 
Charlie Mitchell, "Chinese water giant Nongfu Spring was courted by Government officials as public opposition grew", Stuff.co.nz, May 11, 2019, © Stuff Limited
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