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Whose Water – Who Pays?

27 April 2005

Whose Water – Who Pays? Major Conference Debates the Issues

Who owns and who pays for New Zealand’s water resource will be at the core of a major conference in Auckland tomorrow.

“The fact is that the roading and energy sectors’ infrastructural issues are no less critical compared with those facing water,” said New Zealand Water and Waste Association’s Chief Executive, Simon Carlaw, today.

“The recent collapse of Project Aqua in the South island only highlights one of the key water allocation issues that need fixing in the context of a coherent national strategy. There are also infrastructure quality and supply issues that will not fix themselves,”said Mr Carlaw.

NZWWA’s Environment Summit Conference to be held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland from 28-29 April will provide a key opportunity for debate. With the theme of “Whose Water – Who Pays?” the conference will take stock of the big issues against steps to develop a national water programme of action. On the second day, major water users will have their say.

Speakers include Colin James on the politics of water; Keith Turner, CEO of Meridian Energy on the lessons of Project Aqua; Australian responses from James Keary of Hunter Water; Roger Kerr of the NZ Business Roundtable on reform of the sector; and speakers representing major users from farming, tourism, manufacturing and electricity generation.

“There are more questions than answers in the water environment and there is even less action. Water is critical to the economy but it lacks any national strategy or sense of purpose. This should change,” said Mr Carlaw.

ENDS

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