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Thousands Of Submissions To Be Delivered To ACC

The Water Pressure Group
MEDIA STATEMENT
22 MAY 2000

THOUSANDS OF SUBMISSIONS TO BE DELIVERED TO AUICKLAND CITY COUNCIL

At 1.00pm, Monday 22 May, the Water Pressure Group will be, yet again, handing over thousands of submissions calling for the abolition of Auckland City Council's commercialised water company - Metrowater Ltd. The Water Pressure Group, in their fire engine, will deliver the submissions to the Auckland City Council Administration Building in Grey's Avenue.

About ten thousand submissions to be presented read as follows:

"ATTENTION AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

I strongly oppose commercialisation and privatisation of public assets.

I totally disagree that water is a saleable commodity and that the supply of water is a commercial activity. Water is a vital necessity of life, and water and wastewater are essential public services which should be affordable to all citizens. No household should be restricted or disconnected.

I demand * that the Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) MetroWater Ltd be abolished on June 30 2000 and that water and wastewater services be returned to democratic control as a Stand Alone Business Unit (SABU) under Auckland City Council; * That water and wastewater be funded from the property-valued general rating base, NOT by user or systems charges or Uniform Annual General Charges (UAGC); * That consultation be genuine, that the citizens of Auckland are listened to during this year 2000 Annual Plan public submission process, and that MetroWater's abolition is carried out NOW.

I insist that neither the ongoing regional/national Water Review, nor any other excuse, is used to delay MetroWater's abolition or to privatise/commercialise any water services.

Signed - - - - -"

_____________________

The Water Pressure Group are outraged that at joint community board meeting held on 3 May, Councillor David Hay stated that the Auckland City Council was not going to consider the issue of Metrowater at this year's annual plan. What was the point of calling for public submissions, asking for the public's views, then saying that the council was going to ignore them anyway? Doesn't that make the public submission process a meaningless sham? Metrowater was the biggest issue at last year's annual plan and remains the hottest topic in Auckland City. Metrowater's new tariff, introduced last October and heralded by the Mayor Christine Fletcher as 'fairer' ,means those who need to use more water, such as large families, are now paying between $1000 to $2000 per year for water and wastewater services, on top of their rates.

As civil disobedience and direct action seem to be the only means of making the Auckland City Council listen, members of the Water Pressure Group will be bringing water meters along, as they hand over the submissions.

The message will be crystal clear. If the majority of Auckland City Council refuse, yet again, to listen to the people of Auckland, and abolish Metrowater, then the citizens of Auckland will have no alternative but to take matters into our own hands and unplug Metrowater ourselves.

Penny Bright & Jim Gladwin Media Spokespersons

The Water Pressure Group http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz/ email: Water Pressure Group PO Box 10046 Dominion Road Auckland New Zealand Ph / Fax 0064 09 828 4517 Mobile: 025 2666 552


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