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Water Review Shouldn't Be Left To Local Government

Concern is being raised over the Government's decision today to place the review of the water, wastewater and stormwater industry in the hands of local government.

ACT Local Government spokesman Owen Jennings said it was ridiculous that Government was using local councils to run the review.

"To be effective the review needs to be independent and kept away from vested interests. It's now nothing more than a populist cop out.

"Maurice Williamson told the House last July that the review needed to occur within the next year. Here we are over a year later and nothing has happened.

"The delay will be particularly costly for the people of Auckland. The Government has already left Watercare Services in the hands of Auckland Council's for too long.

"Having said that Watercare would only be 'parked with local government pending the review', it is hard to see Council's letting Watercare out of their grip if they are carrying out the review.

"Watercare needs to be put on a proper footing. The naiveté of the Labour/Alliance bloc on the Auckland Councils who believe Watercare should operate on a zero rate of return has already seen the international credit rating agency, Standard & Poors, threatening to downgrade the company's A+ credit rating.

"Auckland ratepayers cannot afford this type of populism from their local body politicians.

"The Water and Wastewater review is long overdue and vitally important to ratepayers around the country. Far too important to simply off load into the hands of local councils," said Owen Jennings.


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