INDEPENDENT NEWS

Open New Years Letter To Manukau City Council

Published: Fri 20 Dec 2002 12:27 AM
(This is also a letter to the Editor and a Press Statement)
Paul Teio, Manukau Water Pressure Group- Meredydd Barrar, Citizens Against Privatisation. 2 Hilltop Road, Manurewa - Ph: 2622743, Ph: 8366389
As we look to joy and happiness to all Men (and Women). We the community are awake to the plans of Manukau City Council to relinquish our water service to WATERCARE SERVICES LTD.
The very same Company who the said Council is allowing to foist dirty Waikato water on an unwilling people. We the communities of Auckland will not allow this robbery.
Manukau City Council stand alone throughout the Auckland region in promoting this takeover which will inevitably lead to the privatisation of this essential service (It's only comparison is the unwanted Metrowater Company in Auckland City).
If any one Manukau City Councillor votes to perpetuate this inequity and drive an already poor community into further poverty through the introduction of 'User Pay's' charges for wastewater which will inevitably ensue (water charges will double or even triple). We pledge to ensure each and every one of you will be politically buried forever. Do not underestimate the collective will of ordinary people. Every political weapon will be employed to achieve this end.
To those MCC Councillors like Councillor Colleen Browne who claim to be "progressive" your silence on this issue will be deemed to be collusion and you too will suffer the same fate.
This letter is indeed a political threat, take heed or face the consequences. Manukau is a sleeping giant that is quickly awakening. We are declaring war against anti-people corporate intent.
Signed Paul Teio, Spokesperson Manuakau Water Pressure Group Meredydd Barrar, Spokesperson Citizens Against Privatisation (Waitakere)
From NZ Herald article below -
"But after immediate outrage and further lobbying, the Government was spooked by the prospect of Mr Banks and Sir Barry - and possibly North Shore Mayor George Wood - accusing the Government of denying cheaper water to South Auckland's poor."
What hypocrisy! Can anyone really expect these personages to support the needy? As pointed out by Citizens Against Privatisation and Manukau Water Pressure Group yesterday, having Watercare commercially retail water services will see user charges for wastewater - and that will place even more burden on the poor in Manukau, who already have more disconnections for inability to pay user charges for water than in any other municipality in New Zealand. Perhaps the Herald reporter hasn't seen the media release from CAP and MWPG.
Secondly, if the Manukau Mayor and councillors are so confident that the price can be made cheaper than they can presently deliver, perhaps they should do what the people elect them to do, and take back the job of maintaining the city's water infrastructure. Several years ago, Manukau City sold off it's Works Department and contracted water maintenance work to that privately owned company, Excell Corporation Ltd.
Also, commercialisation in this way will expose public water services to the GATS Agreement, which gives global capitalist interests the right to compete for such services.
As the Water Pressure Group (Auckland) has pointed out, the objective behind this Watercare move is to ultimately have one large water retailer for Greater Auckland - a step that will extend user charges for wastewater throughout, and lead to ultimate privatisation.
Jim Gladwin
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news=& storyID=3048076
NZ Herald 20.12.2002
Government flip-flops over Watercare

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