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Hutt 2020 Opposes Water Integration Plans

Hutt 20/20 Media Statement

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Hutt 2020 Opposes Water Integration Plans

Hutt 2020 opposes plans by Hutt City Council to transfer water supply and wastewater services to a proposed new regional organization (a trust).

"The proposed transfer will effectively mean that control of these services will pass out of the hands of Hutt City Council", said Hutt 2020 Councillor Scott Dalziell

"The new organisation will not be elected and it will not be directly accountable to Hutt City ratepayers."

"There is also the risk that Hutt City ratepayers will end up cross-subsidising Wellington City's water supply network."

"The promised savings of the scheme are minimal and experience shows that they will probably never materialise".

"Experience elsewhere in New Zealand shows that this proposal will be bad for Hutt City", said Cr Scott Dalziell

In Auckland, water and waste water services were transferred away from direct council control to a Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) called "Metrowater". This has been a disaster for Auckland ratepayers. The promised savings there never materialized. Large amounts of money have been wasted on directors fees, advertising and "re-imaging" the new organisation. Meanwhile many ratepayers have had their water supplies cut off - without the Council being able to intervene.

According to Hutt 2020 Regional Councillor Dick Werry, "the proposal contains huge ambiguities about accountability and governance."

"The worst possible scenario is one where all important decisions are made behind the closed doors of the proposed Trust. This is what gives me concern", he said.

Dick Werry also pointed out: "Unlike a council, there is no requirement on a trust to make information available to the public."

Hutt 2020 is calling on ratepayers to express their concerns over the Council's proposal to give up control of our Water Supply (see advert in next Tuesday's Hutt News).

Ratepayers are being asked to send submissions to the Council simply saying: "Keep our water supply and wastewater services under direct Council control"

Ends

For further information please phone Cr Scott Dalziell (ph 567 1022); Dick Werry (ph 566-3465)

Note: submissions close on 30 April 2001 and should be sent to Freepost 57412, Water Services Integration, PO Box 2199, Wellington.

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