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Financial Exploitation Of Water Supply Must Stop

Financial Exploitation Of Water Supply Must Stop

Rodney Hide
Thursday, 27 July 2006
Press Releases - Local Government


Aucklanders should demand removal of retail companies' monopoly over water, as competition is the only way to stop water being used as a weapon to plunder local ratepayers, says ACT Leader and MP for Epsom, Rodney Hide.

"It is time for action by the Minister of Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard. She has been sitting on her hands for far too long", Mr Hide said.

"These companies are no more than a costly extra layer in the water and waste water infrastructure. Competition would result in a better service, at a lower price.

"Auckland City rates have been surging above the level of inflation for years. It's outrageous for Metrowater to now claim that new storm water handling infrastructure is responsible for an average $235 rise in water prices.

"These functions can be carried out by the wholesaler, Watercare, whose prices to the retail companies has been kept below the level of inflation for years.

"If we must have a monopoly supplier, why not let Watercare service the whole region, including storm water, under the restraints that have seen it keep its prices down in line with the cost of living index.

"If Watercare's ownership passes to the regional council, there will be no resolution. The ARC openly intends to take the same cash-box approach to the company as the water retailers.

"The politicising of water supply by local bodies for financial exploitation is hurting householders, and it has to stop", Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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