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Lower Water And Wastewater Prices For Ak Region

Watercare Services Limited
Shareholders’ Representative Group
Chairman, Dr Bruce Hucker

Media release 1st March, 2002

Lower Water And Wastewater Prices For Auckland Region

The owners of Auckland’s water wholesaler Watercare Services Ltd have welcomed the release of the company’s funding plan which signals lower water and wastewater prices for the region in the coming years.

The funding plan contains a CPI – 2% price path for bulk water and wastewater supplied to Auckland’s council-owned water retailers for at least the next three years, promising lower water costs, in real terms, for Auckland businesses and households.

This means that wholesale prices from Watercare can increase no more than rises in the consumer price index less two percent, a formula known as CPI-2. This form of price regulation (CPI-X) is common internationally to regulate the price of water and other services like electricity.

Watercare is the largest water company in New Zealand with assets worth around $2 billion. It is owned by the region’s six local bodies who buy bulk water and wastewater services from Watercare and then provide retail water services through local water retailers like Auckland City’s Metrowater and Manukau Water.

The Watercare shareholders – Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere and North Shore cities and Papakura and Rodney Districts – delegate ownership responsibilities to a Shareholders Representative Group (SRG) chaired by Auckland City Councillor Dr Bruce Hucker.

Dr Hucker commended the Watercare board of directors and the company on the progress it had made in addressing capital investment and other issues. Dr Hucker said that increased focus by the shareholder group on pricing and contract issues over the past year had now begun to bear fruit.

“The Funding Plan is a tribute to the quality of the Watercare board and the company’s commitment to the region’s development and quality of life,” said Dr Hucker.

He said that governance improvements as well as improved company performance by Watercare meant that many local authorities were now close to signing contracts with Watercare, on the basis of its funding plan, ending 13 years of legal wrangling.

“This is a major step forward towards resolving one of the long standing issues that have dogged water management in the region,” said Dr Hucker. “This is good news against the backdrop of rising petrol, telephone and transport prices.”

“Water is one of Auckland’s most critical strategic assets,” he said. “We’re delighted with the progress made towards stable or lower prices through more efficient management and proper conservation and sustainability."

Watercare’s funding plan was approved by its board on February 22, 2002. The funding plan provides the basis for Watercare’s wholesale prices for bulk water and wastewater services.

Dr Hucker said that the commitment to stable prices was possible despite major capital works including the Waikato Pipeline and Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant.


For further information:

Dr Bruce Hucker
Chairperson
Shareholders Representative Group of Watercare Services Ltd

Ph (09) 373 7599 x8648 (business)


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