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Water retailers to receive extra $5.7 million

Water retailers to receive extra $5.7 million

Auckland’s water retailers will receive a positive $15.7 million price adjustment from Watercare rather than $10 million as was announced last month.

The city’s bulk water and wastewater (sewage) services provider, Watercare, explained it will occur through a price reduction until 30 June.

Watercare supplies water and wastewater services to retail providers Metrowater, United Water, Manukau Water, Eco Water, North Shore City and Rodney District Council. These providers, in turn, supply residents.

Chairperson of the Watercare Shareholders Representative Group (SRG), Auckland City Councillor Dr Bruce Hucker, said the news was evidence of an excellent partnership between Watercare and its council-owned shareholder body.

“Since the Shareholders Representative Group was established we’ve had new water and wastewater pricing contracts for the first time in 15 years, better relationships with the water retail sector, the adoption of a regional water plan and very positive pricing negotiations, moving towards reduced prices.

“We’ve been impressed at Watercare’s willingness to work with the SRG to achieve the best outcomes for the water industry and residential customers,” said Dr Hucker.

The price adjustment is made up of wastewater and water components so retail providers which buy both services from Watercare (eg Metrowater, Manukau Water and Ecowater) will be better off than those who buy only water from Watercare. Watercare chairperson Graeme Hawkins says: “We always hoped the amount would increase and we’re committing to it now so that our customers, the water retailers, can plan how it should be used.”

Last month Watercare also announced an extension to its pricing plan and a reduction in prices. The extension sees the change in the price of bulk water and wastewater services for 2006 and 2007 set at inflation minus three per cent. This means that from 1 July 2005 until 1 July 2007, bulk water and wastewater prices will decrease if the inflation rate remains at current levels.

The recent announcement that the CPI was 1.5 per cent for the year ended 31 March 2004 means that Watercare will reduce its water and wastewater prices by 0.5 per cent for the 2005 financial year.

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