Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Are Metrowater's Charges Fair? - Auckland Mayor.

Statement - by Auckland Mayor, Christine Fletcher

How should Aucklanders pay for wastewater? What is the fairest way?

This is the debate that Aucklanders must have, based on the facts, before the Council finally determines the issue on July 29.

This matter should have been resolved before Metrowater was established in 1997. Because it wasn't we now must find an enduring solution - one that allows Aucklanders to move forward with certainty that the decision is soundly based and is in the best interests of their city and all its residents.

It must also put an end to the misery and unfairness of the current wastewater charging regime. At recent Council meetings, Councillor Gray Bartlett and I used our votes strategically to ensure critical information is received before decisions are made on the future of wastewater charging.

As a result, a planned review of Metrowater's tariff structure has been fast tracked into this month whilst maintaining the opportunity for Council to bring wastewater charges back into rates and removing the profit motive for Metrowater through its Statement of Corporate Intent.

On July 29 Councillors will have an opportunity to consider the full cost, rates, conservation and social equity implications of both the options.

Aucklanders now pay Metrowater for wastewater through a very high fixed systems charge, plus a user-pays charge based on the amount of fresh water they use. If the Council decides to leave wastewater charging with Metrowater, under the new tariff structure being developed:

The fixed systems charge that each customer pays for connection to water and wastewater could reduce from $63 for water and $184.85 for wastewater, to between $30 and $50 a year (awaiting final tariff review).

If the wastewater charges are returned to rates:

Residential rates will increase by about 28 per cent. This will be on top of any increase required for other Council functions - about 10 per cent this year.

A key consideration in the Council's decision will be the impacts of the two options on the elderly and large families with low or fixed incomes.

Under the reintegration option, ratepayers with lower value properties and higher water consumption - generally larger, low income families - would pay less. Ratepayers with higher value properties and lower water consumption - including elderly people on low fixed incomes, whose family homes have increased in value over time - would pay more.

Under the proposed tariff review for wastewater, everyone would pay a lower systems charge, but would pay slightly more for the water they use.

The new proposed structure would encourage Aucklanders to conserve water resources and also to save money, while removing the previous burden of the high fixed charge on people who use little water.

But irrespective of how wastewater is charged, there are costs that Aucklanders must meet to ensure a clean environment.

These include the $200 million bill for deferred maintenance, the $300 million-plus bill for sewer separation, the ongoing planned maintenance of the city's 3500 km pipe network, the city's share of the $450 million upgrade of the Mangere Treatment Plant and - most important - the need to provide a reliable and secure water and wastewater supply to 115,000 households which total 350,000 people.

The decision later this month must remove uncertainty from wastewater charges once and for all. It is time for clear facts, clear thinking, and fair and enduring decisions."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>

ALSO:

Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

ALSO:

Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

ALSO:

Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels