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Metrowater Holds Its Costs

25 May 2001

Metrowater has held its costs, but has been forced to pass on to its customers a minimal increase from its bulk supplier, Watercare.

The Auckland City Council, which wholly owns Metrowater, last night (Thurs 24th) approved a zero price increase for the city’s water and wastewater utility company’s operations.

The Watercare price rise is a small increase in environmental charges, which is less than the rate of inflation.

The impact of the Watercare increases will be 1.5 cents for water and four cents for wastewater, per thousand litres, and will take effect from 1 July 2001.

The Council’s Investments committee chairperson, Councillor Vern Walsh, said the Council accepted Metrowater had no control over charges imposed by regional water supplier, Watercare Services, which provided bulk water and wastewater services to the whole Auckland Region.

“Watercare’s prices form 46 percent of the total water charges and 67 per cent of the wastewater charges showing on Metrowater customers’ bills,” said Councillor Walsh, “and it’s clear these have to go up to fund environmental improvements to the Mangere Treatment Plant and the Waikato Pipeline.

“But we are pleased Watercare has kept the increases to just three percent for water and 2.4 per cent for wastewater. This is considerably less than previous years”.

Metrowater Chief Executive Graham Coxhead said his company had an obligation to deliver value to the city and had pared costs to keep the impact on customers as low as possible.

“We are very conscious of the impact of our pricing on our customers and have looked closely at all of the costs we are able to control,” said Mr Coxhead.

“Our service charge remains unchanged for the second year in a row and we propose no increase in network charges, despite 3.5 percent inflation.”

ENDS

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