INDEPENDENT NEWS

Open Letter To All Labour Party MPs

Published: Fri 21 Dec 2001 02:14 PM
Open Letter To All Labour Party Members Of Parliament
OPEN LETTER TO ALL LABOUR PARTY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
2002 is election year. Back on 30 January 2001, the Water Pressure Group (Auckland) asked you all a very simple, straightforward question. Was the Papakura District Council franchise with United Water privatisation yes or no?
We note that NOT ONE of you bothered to answer this straightforward question - despite the Labour Party answer to our pre-election questionnaire "6. We do not support privatising water services."
(We did receive replies from Laila Harre, Associate Minster of Commerce (Alliance); Jeanette Fitzsimons and Keith Locke (Green Party) that agreed with us - that the Papakura District Council franchise with United Water was privatisation.
We ask again - using the term 'public-private-partnership' instead of 'franchising.' Is the Papakura District Council PublicPrivate-Partnership (PPP) with United Water (the largest private water company in Australasia) a form of privatisation YES or No?
For some background holiday reading on water public-private- partnerships suggest you look up the website below and search for the publication "Water in public hands" by David Hall.
http://www.world-psi.org/psi.nsf/publications?openpage
We respectfully suggest that if you're not up with the play on water PPPs - then you should be.
After two years of a Labour/Alliance Coalition government what is there to show on water? We're out there, scrapping on the streets, in Court - fighting for affordable water services, run as essential public services - not profit-making businesses - what are you, who have the power to do something against commercialised and privatised water actually doing about it? Worse than nothing - Paul Swain Minister of Commerce has stated that the Labour Government believes that it is appropriate for water services to come under the Commerce Act!
We don't want water services run under the commercial model - as LATEs - end of story. Water LATEs entrench user-charges for both water and wastewater and hit those who can least afford it. You know that. You could have voted to remove water services from LATE legislation. You didn't.
The Birch Report has recommended that Council investigate the possibility of a public-private-partnership for both Metrowater and Watercare. Auckland Citizen & Ratepayers Now (ACT and National at local body level ) support public-private-partnerships for water services. Where do you stand - Labour MPs???
There is a line in the sand. If you don't oppose public-private-partnerships for Metrowater and Watercare - then effectively you are supporting them.
We have waited over ten months for a reply to our very straightforward question. Looking forward to your prompt reply.
Beware - next year is election year.
Penny Bright Media Spokesperson Water Pressure Group (Auckland)

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