Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Debt Collector

Residents of the old Manukau City area face a 41% increase in wastewater charges. I recall Mr Hide promising that water rates would not increase under the reform of local government. Something to do with economies of scale, bigger being more efficient etc.
Obviously that wasn't true, let's be kind and call it "salesmanship", not "lying". And this is wastewater charges, not water, so while it's semantics, technically he was correct. Finally, Mr Hide is no longer an MP and he can't be held accountable. Who is the Minister for Local Government these days?
Back to the increases, Mayor Brown says they are not due to undercharging, pre-amalgamation, and he's correct. Rodney District and North Shore City are getting increases too, though not as large as Manukau. Whereas the old Auckland City area gets a decrease. All in the name of fairness.
It's actually a cleverly hidden subsidy for the ratepayers of the old Auckland City. Being the oldest part on town their sewers are the oldest, leakiest and most prone to spilling. Before the amalgamation they had to fund it all themselves. Now they can, and will, dip into the pockets of their neighbours for the funds. Even though their neighbour's sewers work just fine.

Blur - Parklife, 1994

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