A 15-thousand strong petition calling on the government to place a moratorium on freshwater exports is due to be presented to Parliament today.
LISTEN ABOVE: Mike Hosking talks to the petition organiser, Jen Branje, about what she hopes to achieve after today's demonstrations.
At the same time, 18 demonstrations are planned outside council offices nationwide.
Bung the Bore, the group behind the petition and the demonstrations, says the protest is about putting people and the environment above the demands of private interests who are exploiting New Zealand's fresh water.
Founder Jen Branje said there are 74 bottling plants across the country with permits to take New Zealand's most pure fresh water to bottle and sell overseas.
She said at the same time people are struggling to access clean, safe water, billions of litres are being given away to private companies for nothing.
Her colleague Peter Richardson's leading the Christchurch protest at midday.
He said our water policies are too cavalier.
"It's affecting water quality drinking which we've seen up in the Hawke's Bay, streams and rivers which we're seeing in Canterbury, and the water bottling is basically giving away our resources."
He said they'll act out an auction of the last bottle of pure aquifer water from the province.