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Letter: Making good on the promise of free water

Friday 28 June 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Making good on the promise of free water

In response to the public opposition to water tariffs, the prime minister has recently taken the stand: ‘Free water’ reads the headline; and in fine print “a fair and reasonable amount...” (‘PM: Free water for households’, 22 June).

Fresh phrasing, but the law has not changed since it was enacted in 2021. The water authority can - and will - charge customers connected to the Te Mato Vai network.

The water tariff meetings this week are to replace the Xs, with the dollars-and-cents that will be charged to each customer, each month. Expect a fixed network fee, plus additional charges based on water-use.

To Tatou Vai operating as a not-for-profit also sounds reassuring, however this only means there’s no obligation to pay a dividend to shareholders at the end of each financial year. Any surplus is retained to further corporate goals, and there are plenty of easy ways not-to-make-a-profit.

As owner of a $102 million infrastructure asset, the Act requires To Tatou Vai (TTV) fund a sizeable depreciation reserve. Outsourcing the smart meters to Vodafone will keep TTV out of pocket each month.

To make good on the PM’s promise requires our MPs to amend the law, to change the To Tatou Vai Act.

Signing the “Keep Our Water Free” petition sends a clear message. It requests that our representatives take action.

Te Vai Ora Maori