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OCI yet to decide position on domestic water charges

Wednesday June 13, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

In the lead up to the June 14 election, CI News is asking the main political parties to comment on issues of interest to the public. Today’s question: Would your party charge the general public for reticulated water on Rarotonga? If so, how much?

One Cook Islands

Water is a gift of life and any use or abuse of it is the creation of mankind.

Any responsible government administration would prioritise the health and wellbeing of its people before considering the needs of others and in today’s society, it is more a question of balancing its use between private and commercial users. The increasing demand by tourism will no doubt incur the “user pays concept” based on government’s model of charging. However, it is also critical that our people are encouraged to install additional water tanks for storage capacity in times of need and to relieve pressure on the grid.

At this stage, not enough analytical information is available to make an informed decision. Newsletters released by government shows a technical slant as to why charges should be imposed but provides little solutions or satisfaction to local consumers. OCI’s position is reserved until such time that it has a clear picture of the current status of our water situation and likely impacts the new water system administration will have in terms of economic, social and cultural outcomes.

Cook Islands Party

Domestic households would receive a free water allocation. Commercial users would expect to pay for clean and consistent water supply to their businesses. It has been recommended at water meetings over the last two years that in order to encourage water conservation and reduce wastage that charges will apply to those that exceed their free water allocation. The rates for water will be determined at a rate that is fair and reasonable. The body that has been established to manage our new multi-million dollar asset is charged with a mandate to recover costs only and not to charge for profit.

Note: The Democratic Party’s reply to this question had not been received by the time today’s CINews went to print. The answer will be printed later this week. 

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