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Birch Report - Privatising Metrowater & Watercare

Birch Report Recommends Privatising both Metrowater and Watercare!

MEDIA RELEASE FROM WATER PRESSURE GROUP 14.12.01

Water privatisation is now openly on the Auckland City Council agenda. The Birch Report, released today is pushing for the privatisation of both Metrowater and Watercare Services.

"Suggest Council investigate the possibility of using a public-private- partnership model for Metrowater and Watercare."

(Pg 48 of the Birch Report - download from: www.akcity.govt.nz )

United Water, the largest water company in Australasia, who already have a foothold in the Auckland region with their public- private-partnership with the Papakura District Council, will no doubt be thrilled with this development. (If they didn't already know). United Water is a consortium comprising of two of the world's largest multinational water companies - Vivendi (French) and RWE (German). The Papakura District Council still owns the water services assets, but United Water operates, manages and collects the income stream. PPPs of the Papakura type are the most common international form of water privatisation. In fact, it is only in the UK that water companies actually own the pipes.

Public-private-partnerships (PPPs) are for the corporations, a far more intelligent form of privatisation. Through public-private-partnerships, corporations can make private profit for their shareholders from publicly-owned infrastructure - without spending millions of dollars on buying the asset. Follow the income stream! Where is the money going? Who benefits? The public whose rates have paid for the asset, or the shareholders whose company has 'leased' the asset?

'Weasel-worded' politicians and others, claim that public-private- partnerships are not privatisation because the assets are still owned by the public. Please give the intelligence of ordinary people a little more respect!

The Water Pressure Group tried very hard during the Auckland Local Body election to alert the public to the secret water privatisation agenda of Auckland Citizen and Ratepayers Now. The Water Pressure Group then challenged the election result on the basis that ACRN had fraudulently misrepresented their policy by claiming to oppose water privatisation while contemporaneously supporting 'in 5+ years' a public-private-partnership.

This Birch report which is advocating a public-private-partnership model for Metrowater and Watercare - is being discussed- not in '5+ years'- but on Wednesday 19 December at 9.30am in the Town Hall Council Chambers. Concerned members of the public - be there!

The Water Pressure Group has said all along that Metrowater Ltd was being 'parked' as a LATE - ready for future privatisation.

The Auckland City Council has NO MANDATE for this privatisation agenda! The time has come for us to unite as citizens to protect what remains of our public property.

The Water Pressure Group calls on households in streets all over Auckland City to make a united community stand to defend our water services from multinational water corporation takeover! Be responsible citizens and make a stand for our children of the future! DON'T PAY YOUR WATER BILLS!

If we don't make a stand - we will end up losing control of our most essential public service - water. Giant water corporations will then control the very basis of life in Auckland City.

Penny Bright Media Spokesperson Water Pressure Group (Auckland) Ph: (09) 8469 825

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