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Councillors Fudge Definition Of Commercial Water

Some City Vision Councillors Try To Fudge The Definition Of Commercialised Water To Justify Their Sellout Position

"The Water Pressure Group is appalled that some City Vision Councillors are now saying that Metrowater Ltd, with its commercialised Local Authority Trading Enterprise (L.A.T.E.) structure, is now acceptable, because the "profit" it makes goes back into the infrastructure. These are despicable weasel words," says Penny Bright, media spokesperson.

"Under the commercial model, Metrowater Ltd is set up to operate as a successful business. Nothing has changed. One of the main reasons why Metrowater Ltd was established, was because under the Rating Powers Act, Councils could not introduce 'user-charges' for wastewater. A L.A.T.E. could, so Metrowater Ltd was set up.

* The user-pays charging regime, is a 'double-whammy' on the poor. If the 'profit' made by Metrowater is reinvested back into the infrastructure, then those who can least afford it, are paying twice - for what they are using today, and for tomorrow's infrastructure which will be used by tomorrow's users. What about 'intergenerational equity'? How ''fair' is that?

* Some City Vision Councillors are claiming that they have managed to influence the pricing structure, so there is no longer any advantage in abolishing Metrowater. User- charges keep going up! Metrowater's pricing structure, with increasingly harsher user-charges, are punishing those large low-medium income families who NEED to use more water.

* Reducing the high systems charges and putting up user-charges has transferred the economic burden from the low-medium value property owners who didn't need to use so much water to those who did. Meanwhile, the high-value property owners who generally have a greater ability to pay, had their rates (property taxes) reduced.

* The Water Pressure Group maintains that user-charges, under the name of 'fairness' are one of the biggest 'new right' con tricks ever to be foisted upon the public, both in New Zealand and globally.

* If some City Vision Councillors don't have the political nous to realise that commercialised Metrowater has not changed, then perhaps they don't have the political nous to be Councillors.

* Nothing has changed, except some City Vision Councillors' position on Metrowater Ltd. The Water Pressure Group is disgusted. Not only did Four City Vision Councillors sell out by failing on 26 June to support Maire Leadbeater's motion to abolish Metrowater, but now, mid-stream during the term of Council, City Vision are apparently considering changing their policy on Metrowater to justify those Councillors' sellout position. This would be a total breach of faith with the public.

* The Water Pressure Group has told City Vision that if all City Vision Councillors do not come back on track, and give a 'water-tight' guarantee to abolish Metrowater, we guarantee to campaign against City Vision at the by-election. Even if we are given such a 'guarantee', the WPG are not saying we will support City Vision, because of past broken promises.

* The Water Pressure Group calls on all Auckland City residents to show continued opposition to commercialised Metrowater by refusing to pay wastewater bills, and to vote for the Water Pressure Group endorsed candidate in the Avondale/Mt Roskill by-election."

Penny Bright Media Spokesperson

The Water Pressure Group http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz/ email: Water Pressure Group PO Box 19764 Auckland 7 New Zealand Ph / Fax 64 9 828 4517 Mobile: 025 2666 552 ______________________________


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