INDEPENDENT NEWS

Multinational Water Co. Interferes with Council

Published: Wed 29 Aug 2001 08:55 AM
Multinational Water Company Interferes With Council Decision.
At last Monday's council meeting, Papakura Mayor David Buist successfully managed to have Council revoke an earlier Council decision to grant $500 to Papakura Water Pressure Group (PWPG), a group of concerned citizens who oppose the privatisation of water services (this includes franchising). It seems he had been 'persuaded' to do so by the managing director of United Water**.
The Mayor said: "After a brief discussion with Mike Smith from United Water, I am even more concerned at the possible ramifications under the Franchise Agreement that approving the resolution (for $500 grant) will have. As Mayor of Papakura it is my responsibility to protect the interests of Council and the people of Papakura. I therefore believe that the above resolution should be revoked".
After being asked by councillors what possible ramifications there could be, Mr Buist ducked and dived and was not able to quantify these. Mr Buist is keen to address United Water's concerns when it flexes its muscles, but ignores the concerns of a large majority of Papakura residents who have been opposed to the franchise since its implementation. He is mistaken by saying that PWPG is a political group. PWPG has no ties or links to any political organisation or group.
Who is Mr Buist representing, United Water or the people of Papakura who elected him? Why has he done a 180 degree turn on his mayoral election promises, promises to be open and honest?. Can he be trusted?
** United Water is a multinational water company that has entered into a water franchise agreement with Papakura District Council for a period of up to 50 years. United Water is a consortium of Vivendi of France and RWE of Germany and is Australia's and New Zealand's largest private water company. Under the franchise agreement, Council still owns the infrastructure (pipes, pumps. etc), but United Water manages the services. It profits out of publicly owned assets.
Peter Mathyssen, PWPG. action@papakurawaterpressuregroup.pl.net.

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