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Aucklanders - Be Very Afraid

Aucklanders - Be Very Afraid

Rodney Hide
Monday, 19 June 2006
Press Releases - Local Government

Aucklanders should "be very afraid" of the Auckland Regional Council's decision today to signal its intention to acquire control over the region's water and wastewater distributor, says Epsom MP, Rodney Hide.

"The ARC has confirmed what ACT has long suspected - that it is working hand in glove with the Minister of Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard, to grab control with Government acquiescence", Mr Hide said.

"The reason the ARC wants Watercare is not hard to find. Reference to more efficient practices it can introduce if it owns the company is simply bureaucratic code for imposing higher water and wastewater charges.

"Given the ARC's recent track record of imposing ever-increasing rates on the community, Aucklanders have every reason to be very afraid of the ARC's intentions. It concedes that the owners of Watercare, local territorial authorities, do not want to sell Watercare but proceeds regardless to declare its intentions to get ownership.

"It is time the Minister for Auckland Issues took a stand. Is she for or against the ARC's expansion grab? If she refuses to state unequivocally her opposition to it, Aucklanders will know Labour supports higher charges for basic services in the region.

"Government rejection of the ARC's plan is essential, because any lingering doubts about Watercare's future ownership can only force up the cost of its borrowing - and that is a cost to the whole Auckland community that owns the company.

"We don't want a repeat of the muddled transport situation in the provision of our water and wastewater services", Mr Hide said


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