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Water & Waste

The Auckland City Council waste disposal contracts, tens of millions of dollars of ratepayer money, have been awarded to two very surprising companies - Metropolitan (almost unknown, but has a few trucks I think) and Auckland Waste (so unknown it doesn't have a street address yet or phone number, but you can ring the CEO of EnviroWaste Paul Deverall and he will talk on their behalf).

These two newcomers are (somewhat disguised) alliances between EnviroWaste and relative or complete newcomers, admits Ray Lambert of EnviroWaste.

Interesting, because these ACC contracts are for a 7 year period, and EnviroWaste officially has no dump space after 2003. Rosedale and Greenmount are both scheduled to close. EnviroWaste is gambling that its current application in the Environment Court to be allowed to open a mega-dump in the North Waikato will be successful.

Also interesting because their competitor WMNZ (Waste Management), which DOES have plenty of dump space for those seven years, says it tendered lowered prices on two of the three contracts, but lost out on all of them.

I wonder if the Auckland ratepayers know that their council gave the next seven years of waste contracts to two unknown companies with no dump space after 2003 and no track record, and indeed, in one case, no phone number in the Auckland book. At a higher price than the other tenderer.

Auckland Waste is said (by Ray Lambert of EnviroWaste) to be a joint venture between EW and Cleanaway, which is another name for Brambles (which is into waste in Aussie).

It is said (by Craig Jepson of Olivine) to be tied up with Compagnie Generale des Eaux (or similar name) of France, a WATER company.

A water company. My my my. Why am I not surprised? Could it be because all the waste companies are starting to link up with water interests and boast about their future profits being in water as well as waste? (Vivendi has long had water and waste interests, WMNZ boasted in its recent public issue prospectus that it expected to be getting big future profits from water as well as waste).

And could it be because Peter Drummond, Chairman of EnviroWaste, which is busy trying to build a massive 30m cubic metres waste dump at Hampton Downs beside the Waikato River just UPSTREAM of the Auckland drinking water pipeline intake, is also Chairman of Watercare which runs the Auckland bulk water supply system? Wait - a misty dim view of the future is appearing.

I see me staggering to the checkout in a supermarket in the year 2020 with $500 worth of groceries, $200 of which is bottled water. Because the tap water is no longer fit to drink.

And I see the waste executives of 2020 driving very very expensive cars. (Come to think of it, the AFR a couple of weeks ago asked a car salesman for AU $350K cars, "who buys these?" And he replied, "well, there was a waste company executive in here looking at one...")

Lyn Milnes Te Kauwhata RD2 07 826 3080

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