Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No privatisation of Auckland water

Yesterday, I highlighted a part of the government's response [PDF] to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance which seemed to indicate they were still thinking about privatisting Auckland's water. Some other people seem to have noticed the uncertainty too, because today we have a press release from Rodney Hide denying any privatisation plans, and stating that Watercare will be the sole provider for the Auckland region.

Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide today confirmed that the transition to the new structure will result in one regional water company for the Auckland region.

"The transition process will result in the new Auckland Council becoming the owner of Watercare Services Ltd, which will assume statutory responsibility for the delivery of integrated water and wastewater services in urban areas," Mr Hide said.


"Watercare is a publicly-owned entity and our intention is that it will remain in public ownership under the umbrella of the new Auckland Council.

(Emphasis added).

I'm glad to hear this. Seeing a pro-privatisation ACT MP forced to defend public ownership is just a bonus.