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Mayor Pulls the Plug on Residents' Group

Mayor Pulls the Plug on Residents' Group at Council Meeting

The Wellington Residents' Coalition's deputy convenor had the microphone turned off while presenting a petition to the mayor on behalf of the Coalition at the full council meeting 18 June. The brief background to the petition provided by the convenor breached a standing order rule and amplification was cut off, while the speaker continued, undeterred.

The petition containing, 879 signatures, called for the Council to stop its plan to corporatise the Wellington and Hutt City water services.

The signatures were collected in a few days and join those of two other petitions presented to council and government on the issue of the commercialisation of water in the capital city. Previous petitions have collected around 45,000 signatures altogether.

"This new water company is not the non-profit council controlled trading organisation the Council consulted on last year, says WRC spokesperson, Warwick Taylor. "The new company provides for the distribution of profits so cannot credibly claim to be a non-profit organisation".

"A trading company will have to compete with national and international water companies who cannot be prevented from competing for contracts under the Commerce Act. Council says it will control prices, but we don't want to go the way of Auckland where large families end up paying water bills they can't afford".

Wellington City Council has asked other councils in the region, Porirua, Upper Hutt and the Wellington Regional Council, to participate in the joint management of services through the trading company, but they have declined.

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