The following letter was send to United Water after a successful rally to block a disconnection.
(click here for photos)                    

Papakura, 03 August 2001.

Open Letter to United Water,

Further to your letter dated 31 July 2001 and addressed to Peter Mathyssen, threatening him with disconnection of water and waste water services, we now add the following: 

  1. We, as members of Papakura Water Pressure Group (PWPG) and citizens of Papakura have had no real chance of giving our opinions on the 'posted terms and conditions of supply' when David Hawkins et al rushed through the process of franchising with no supporting information over the 1996-1997 Christmas holiday break. United Water buries its head in the sand when it assumes that the Papakura public have accepted 'the terms and conditions'. We were not given any choice then and we have not now. The political process was a sham.
  2. Your reference to Mr Mathyssen's alleged breach of contract with United Water is totally irrelevant when compared to the question of possible United Water's breach(es) of the franchise agreement with Papakura District Council (PDC), given the fact that virtually NO effective monitoring of the agreement has been carried out by PDC. Council must be responsive to the possible breaches that United Water may have made. The Controller and Auditor General have told the whole of New Zealand that Council is not doing a good job in this regard.
  3. We are alarmed by overseas experiences with privatisation of water services that have involved bribery, corruption, sky rocketing water charges, lower water quality and decreased investment in infrastructure, all in the name of shareholders profits. Even United Water itself has been under investigation in Adelaide. It has been found that on a global scale, water multinationals are co-operating, not competing, as they would like us to believe.
  4. We believe it should be made illegal (as in the UK under the Water Industry Act 1999) to restrict or disconnect water supplies for non-payment of bills. We hope this will the recommendation to central government from the outcome of the Auckland Region Water and Waste Water Review.
  5. We do NOT approve of water being a saleable commodity. It should be available to all regardless of their economical or financial status and should NOT be sold for profit. Water services are essential to life. We believe they should be run by council.
  6. A lot of people and politicians are against privatisation of essential services. We are doing something about it.

Last Wednesday morning, the HEB Contractors' disconnection team shied away from disconnecting Mr Mathyssen's water supply because of PWPG supporters opposition. At the moment the Auckland Water Pressure Group's fire engine is parked on top of the water meter to prevent you from disconnecting the supply. The fire engine will be removed this weekend.

 We herewith advise United Water:

That if United Water disconnects Mr Mathyssen's (or any other persons that contacts PWPG) water supply, Papakura Water Pressure Group will RECONNECT, regardless. We will NOT tolerate anyone being deprived of water which is a basic right and absolutely essential to life.

Papakura Water Pressure Group, PO Box 72 409, Papakura.         Back