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Council consults on wastewater tariff structure

 

 

Media Release

7 March 2008 

 

Council consults on wastewater tariff structure

Manukau City Council is going to the community to find out what the city’s ratepayers think about options for wastewater tariffs.

At yesterday’s council meeting, it was decided that the consultation on the recommendations in the Manukau Water Limited review of wastewater tariffs would be carried out through the 2008/09 Draft Annual Plan process.

“This is an important issue for all of Manukau’s residents,” Manukau Mayor Len Brown says.

“Wastewater prices will be going up.  Manukau Water Limited has been able to keep its cost increases to below the rate of inflation, but has had to factor in a proposed 17.5 per cent increase in Watercare Services wastewater charge into its prices.  This is almost half of Manukau Water’s costs, and will have a significant effect on Manukau consumers.

“This increase is of huge concern to us and we’re actively lobbying against it,” Mr Brown says.

“We must also decide how the cost of wastewater services is shared among the different sectors of our community – residential, businesses, community groups such as churches, schools and sports facilities, and rural settlements.”

Regarding sharing the cost between customer groups, the choices centre on what percentage of the cost should be borne by business and by residential consumers.  Residential consumers will also be able to consider options to retain the present fixed charge, or to reduce it and pay a volumetric charge for water by the cubic metre. 

“These present a wide range of options for the different groups, and we want to know what Manukau’s residents and ratepayers think,” Mr Brown says.  “There has been strong debate.  Now is the time to make those points of view known to the council, so that we can take them into account when making our decision.”

Details of the wastewater options will be actively promoted at the mayor’s meetings around the city.  The options will also be available on the council’s website, in the Draft Annual Plan and the summary to be circulated in the 23 March issue of the council’s city-wide publication Manukau Matters.

The consultation process for the wastewater tariff structure and the Draft Annual Plan opens on 17 March and closes on 18 April.  Hearings of submissions are scheduled for May.

ENDS

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