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New deal means wastewater costs make less splash

New deal means wastewater costs make less splash

For the first time in 14 years Aucklanders won’t need to hold their breath when they open their water bills with the signing of a new contract between Watercare and four Auckland councils.

Watercare supplies water and wastewater (sewage) services to retail providers like Metrowater which, in turn, supply residents.

Under the two-year bulk wastewater contract, Watercare’s annual price increases will be fixed at less than the rate of inflation.

“This contract, on top of the drinking water pricing contract signed with Watercare last year, means Aucklanders can now expect stability in their water bills,” says Auckland City Councillor Bruce Hucker, chairperson of the Watercare Shareholders Representative Group (SRG). The SRG was established in 1998 to represent the interests of the six shareholding councils, which collectively own Watercare.

“This is the culmination of months of negotiation and is a sign of the new co-operative spirit between Watercare and the water retailers,” says Mr Hucker.

The wastewater contract also reflects a commitment by the operators in the water industry to co-operate in planning infrastructure works. This will ensure that wastewater services are delivered with the best outcomes for the region at the lowest possible cost.

“This price consistency means the region can now plan more effectively for the future,” says Mr Hucker. “The deal illustrates effective governance in action and sends the right signal for other regional infrastructure issues in Auckland.”

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