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Fixed wastewater charge retention recommended

Media Release
16 May 2008

Committee recommends fixed wastewater charge be retained

Manukau residents will continue to pay a fixed wastewater charge if a recommendation from Manukau City Council’s Policy & Activities Committee is approved at next week’s full council meeting.

Committee chair Colleen Brown says that in reaching its decision, the committee had to weigh up the impact on the different groups of consumers.

“This is an extremely difficult decision. Many people have called for a mix of a lower fixed charge and an additional charge per cubic metre for the amount of water used.

“The committee had to consider those on single fixed incomes and the elderly, and balance their concerns with the effects of any charging structure on the larger families in our communities,” Cr Brown says.

However, Cr Brown says that those who are on low incomes should take advantage of the rates rebate scheme, regardless of the final council decision on water charges next week.

“Water charges can be included in the calculation to qualify for a rates rebate. The council decided last year to include the water charges to help alleviate the hardship so many people face,” Cr Brown says.

The committee also recommended that the subsidy of business and community customers to residential consumers be reduced over four years.

Because the subsidy reduction is across four years, the fixed charge to residential customers will gradually increase over the four years as well.

“Most of Manukau’s businesses are small and reducing the subsidy will help these businesses,” Cr Brown says.

“By phasing in the reduction across four years also helps achieve the balance we are seeking between the different sectors.”

Rural (Beachlands/Maraetai) consumers will have their charge increased to $500 per year, up from $389 per year to help cover the annual $1m cost of running the Beachlands/Maraetai treatment plant.

Charges for ‘trade-waste’ customers (those commercial customers who pay Watercare directly for transporting and treating trade wastes) will be kept at $1.25 m3.

A review of the wastewater charges was carried out by the council-owned company Manukau Water Limited last year. The council subsequently decided to consult with the public as part of its 2008/09 Draft Annual Plan consultation process.

The table below shows the charges that will apply if the council adopts the recommendation. [Note to subs: Figures in bold are actuals for the 2008/09 year. Figures for subsequent years are in today’s dollars and are indicative only, as inflation and increased prices from Watercare Services Ltd have not been included.]

Year / 2008/09 / 2009/10 / 2010/11 / 2011/12
Residential / $418 / $428 / $438 / $448
Community / $378 + $1.76/m3 / $328 + $2.07/m3 / $278 + $2.38/m3 / $215 + $2.60/m3
Business / $600 + $2.80/m3 / $ 476 + $2.77/m3 / $352 + $2.73/m3 / $215 + $2.60/m3

ENDS

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