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The cup runneth over....
February 29
Dale Evans gives the thumbs up for the petition but a thumbs down for Council

Kapiti Council's plans to install water meters took a decided turn for the worse with revelations that Tauranga City is about to double its fixed water charges. Since water meters were introduced the price of water has escalated in Tauranga.

Kapiti advocate Dale Evans said the Tauranga experience should be a valuable lesson for the local council here.
"KCDC brought the Tauranga experts down here last month to convince our councillors that water meters were a great idea. I watched as the councillors and mayor spent most of the meeting nodding and asked very few intelligent questions. It was embarrassing that our councillors were so uninformed," said Mr Evans.
At the same meeting Mr Evans put forward a list of 15 questions relating to water meters and these were treated as an official information request by KCDC.
In the official response it was revealed that over $400,000 had been spent on consultants relating to water meters and just on $10million was spent on installing meters in the 2001-2002 year. On top of that is the annual cost of approximately $523,000.
Mr Evans points out the Tauranga response to his questions also showed that the costs of water meter renewals averaged $90,000 and that in the last 10 years approximately 6,000 meters had been renewed.
On the question of social equity and what happened to those who could not afford the water bill the Tauranga response showed the extensive use of debt collection agencies. No special rate is given to rest homes, schools and non-profit organisations.
Mr Evans said there appeared to be an inconsistency when discussing the life of the meters. Tauranga responded that "the expected life of a water meter is 15 years." Yet in the first 10 years over 6000 had already been renewed.
Over 7600 Kapiti coasters signed a petition calling for a referendum on water meters. This was presented by petition organiser Jackie Elliott to the mayor at the KCDC meeting last year. It is estimated the number of signatures is now approaching 10,000.
Mr Evans said the lack of a response from the mayor and council showed the contempt they have for the people that elected them.
"Back in November the mayor said 'We now have the petition calling for a referendum. It will not be ignored.' But it has been completely ignored.
"This was the biggest petition ever in Kapiti and the Council has chosen to ignore it and the people and instead council has gone off on their own agenda.
"We will continue this fight until the people's voice is finally heard," said Mr Evans.

Jason B (added 382 weeks ago)
Its a bloody disgrace that the KCDC are ignoring the people of Kapiti. Dump the lot of them and good on you Dale for telling them what we all think.
John (added 384 weeks ago)
I can't believe the way this council continues to ignore the public wishes about water meters. We do not want them KCDC, duh. Simple really.
Phyllis (added 384 weeks ago)
I agree with Trevor. This council does not seem interested in listening to the people who elected them. Dump the lot and the sooner the better. I have been watching the rain fall all day and for most of the summer. We need water meters - yeah right.
Trevor (added 384 weeks ago)
It sounds like the Tauranga example is something we should avoid in Kapiti. Let\\\'s hope the Council is listening. If they are it would be unusual.
Jim J (added 385 weeks ago)
Good onya Dale. We need to stop this Council from selling off out water. Keep fighting for us all.
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