Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : February 6th 2013 Contents 4
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ph 03 442 3531
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Paying for water may protect it
It may just be an urban myth, but
I was once told that in some
water-short parts of Australia it's
a crime to wash your car.
In dry Central Otago, some
citizens are electing not to water
their verges -- some say as a
protest against new water
metering. Meanwhile, Maori
interests challenge the Crown's
right to sell state-owned
hydroelectric assets, in part on
the basis that water is a public
good, not to be ''privatised''.
We know that when water is
''free'' people waste it.
But we also know that it's
essential for life, as necessary as
the air we breathe.
Treating it as just another
consumption item -- like petrol or
electricity -- just seems wrong to
But it's also a scarce resource.
Quite soon it's going to cost a lot
of money to improve the standard
of water in many Central Otago
towns, and the less we use, the
less it will cost to build the
And with rights come
Throwing water around as
though there were an endless
supply is irresponsible. So is
pouring thousands of litres of
treated water onto your garden, if
you're not paying the real cost.
Are we going to have to get used
to browner towns? It doesn't seem
to bother the Aussies.
Malcolm Macpherson teaches applied
business excellence at Otago Polytechnic, is
a US-qualified business assessor, and writes
on business topics for the magazine of the
NZ Organisation for Quality. He was mayor of
Central Otago District from 2001 to 2010..
RantorRave Your Say
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Re Amy Scott s column (Mirror January
23). If I recall correctly the Central Otago
District Council placed advertisements
advising of the water meetings in the
local rags (including this one) of about six
water catchment areas. the first meeting
was held in summer/autumn 2011, with
two subsequent ones at approximately
Heads of departments were on hand to
inform us and answer the questions we
had. there was a mailout of findings
about may last year, which was also in
It was mentioned to me by another
meeting participant that we put forward
our views, and the council went ahead
and did exactly what it wanted.
Maybe we were just too ordinary.
P Mackenzie, Cromwell
Congratulations to Stu Millis: water is
in many countries in the world owned by
international corporations ! (Mirror,
January 30) I understand that 97 per
cent of the water flow of the Clutha River
is owned by Contact Energy. We (the
insignificant residents) own 3 per cent
of the Clutha water flow.
This suggests that we have already
been taken over by international
corporations and maybe this is why we
have to pay for water now.
The voices of the local council say it
costs to pump water to reservoirs but,
hello, if our councillors were foresighted
and looked to the future with solar power
(not only for pumping water to
reservoirs), Central Otago would be
totally free from marauding corporate
energy companies. Stu, I applaud your
foresight and my sleeves are also rolled
up on this one.KATHY MOORE, ALEXANDRA
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