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Green MP Calls For Review Of Pipeline Project

Green MP Calls For Review Of Waikato Pipeline Project

Green MP Nandor Tanczos launched a petition today calling on Auckland local authorities and the MP for Auckland Central Judith Tizard to review the Waikato Pipeline Project. Construction of the pipeline is planned to start in late August.

At a rally in Queen Elizabeth II Square at 1pm Mr Tanczos held up a piece of pipe with a price tag of $155 million plus and said, "Auckland can't afford this pipe".

He said that the planned project was in need of urgent review as the consultation had been inadequate, the cost was outrageous and the waters of the Waikato contained a variety of pollutants that many people did not know they would be drinking. He said that the possible 6 percent increase in water rates to pay for the pipeline was a crippling blow to citizens who would then have to drink super chlorinated low quality water.

Mr Tanczos described the drought theory used by Watercare Services in justifying the pipeline, as a "drought of ideas and management of Auckland's public water supplies". He said the Green Party had been on record since the mid 1990s calling for serious water conservation promotion and planning in Auckland and that the Waikato pipeline was an energy expensive, low quality water supply that Aucklanders had not had the chance to seriously consider.

The petition was launched by Mr Tanczos as an awareness-raising tool for the people who would have to go on paying for it, and to challenge the local authorities to review this project before the tap could not be turned off.

"Once they start pumping this water in, can they turn it off? Will it become the main water supply?" Mr Tanczos asked. He said a combination of the existing dams in the Waitakere Ranges and some other smaller water supplies could be developed along with water conservation by both industrial and domestic users. He held up a glass of water saying he was happy to drink it because he knew that it was relatively clean compared to the Waikato River. The Waikato River is contaminated by industrial and agricultural fertilizer and pesticides discharges, sewage overflows and landfill leachate.

Support for the petition a review of the project was also expressed by John Hamilton on behalf of the Auckland Vegetable Growers Association and the Auckland Vegetable Retailers Association, who are concerned about the impacts of the Waikato pipeline on the quality of the water they use for their industry.

The Green Party and community groups will be circulating the petition in the next six weeks.

For further information contact : Nandor Tanczos MP, Catherine Delahunty (Out of Parliamentary Agent) 09 3770149

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