Mana enters the Wellington Regional Council race!

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Disclosure.

Ariana's MANA PARTY leaflet

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NZ, Wellington, 10 August –  Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, political and community activist, today launched her candidacy for the up-coming Wellington Regional Council local body elections. Ariana will be standing under the Mana Party banner – a Party she has supported since it’s inception.

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Ariana’s campaign platform was based on the issue of free water for domestic users, and opposed metering and charging. Her policy postion stated,

  • domestic water use should remain a public service,
  • she supported increasing water conservation and collection,
  • making increasing leak repair of the public water system  priority,
  • and opposed water and water-related assets being used for private profit-making.

Ariana’s other concerns were also emblazoned on her placards, dotted around the marquis which her campaign team had set up adjacent to the water fountain;

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Ariana spoke to the crowd on the problematic issue of allowing Anadarko – which had been involved in the disastrous 2010  Gulf of Mexico oil spill – to prospect-drill of the Wellington coast.

Ariana said New Zealand had no means by which to contain an oil spill-disaster along the magnitude of  the Deepwater Horizon event in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The thing is,   that they didn’t actually clean it up. The oil is still at the bottom of the ocean. They used a toxic chemical to sink the oil down so it was out of sight, out of mind.”

The coastal areas were still polluted, Ariana said, and this was affecting sealife in the region as well as  people’s health.

“We must not allow Anadarko to drill of the south coast of Wellington!”

There were cries of “Hear, hear!” from some in the crowd at that point.

In between speaking, Marama Te Kira  entertained  the crowd and passers-by with her music and singing,

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Ariana, and her Campaign Manager, Warwick, talking to a member of the public. The woman listened attentatively and said she agreed with a great deal of Ariana’s policies. Another vote, hopefully?

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Ariana talking to two well-wishers who had heard about her campaign launch on social media, and decided to attend,

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Ariana made a clear  distinction between herself and Fran Wilde, who supported user-pays with water;

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With a crowd forming around Ariana, who carefully explained Mana’s policy to keep water in public ownership for the benefit of all, she offered people water from two containers. One was free, the other cost money.

Everyone took the free water;

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Ariana talking to another member of the public;

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A message to the public that, despite a lingering recession, a tiny minority are doing very well – while everyone else either struggles or is just getting by;

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More of Mana’s messages to the public;

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Ariana, surrounded by supporters and members of the public, fielding questions about her candidacy;

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Totally relaxed with the public. Perhaps people sensed her honesty and lack of underlying secret political agendas;

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Even left-wing, anti-establishment, pro-people activists have to “press the flesh” with potential voters. These two had a good natter on Ariana’s policies;

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Ariana’s campaign manager, Warwick, explaining Mana Party policy to a member of the public,

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Another vote for Ariana from this young chap,

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Brochures given out to passers-by (see image at top of page for detail),

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Addressing the crowd and passers-by;

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Ariana tlold the public that a government advisory group, Chaired by Wellington Regional Council chair Fran Wilde, advocated local bodies adopt a user-pays policy for drinking and waste water. She said this would involve compulsory water metering for every household in the Wellington region.

“Water is a right. Water is a right of citizenship, and should come out of public funds. Everybody should have the right to clean water.”

Ariana said there were other ways to reduce water usage such as education and fixing up the various leaks around the city; “We fundamentally and strongly oppose any privatisation of water.” She added, “this is part of a bigger agenda to commercialise our essential services.”

Ariana reminded people that this had already happened with our electricity supply and our power bills had skyrocketed since the 1990s.

Ariana compared the rise in water costs over the same period, saying it had risen by only 17% saying,  “So this is what happens when you start to commercialise essential services. We need to ensure to ensure that these services are publicly managed for the public good, not for profit.”

Ariana said that selling off essential services had only contributed to people’s hardship and many were struggling to pay for their power bills. She said the same would eventually happen for water,

“If we start selling  of our water, making  people pay, then people on low incomes and who are poor, are going to be forced to make decisions about whether or not they give  their children  a bath… or   whether or not  they can put on the power to warm their house.

This is disgusting!

We have to make sure Councils are run for the public good – not for profits!”

Ariana said she would “work her butt off” to keep water free for every household.”

Ariana directed a simple question at these young men who had been listening intently; do you think water should be kept in public ownership or privatised?

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All three laughed and answered, “keep it public!”

Who said that young folk don’t understand or care about the issues?

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Disclosure

This blogger supports and endorses Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati for her candidacy in the forthcoming local body elections. (see: Ariana for Wellington Regional Council – Campaign Launch)

Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

* Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
* Where purpose of  use is  commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested (or a donation to Ariana’s campaign fund).
* At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
* Acknowledgement of source is requested.

See also

Wall Street Journal – Judge Rules BP, Anadarko Liable in Gulf Spill

Radio NZ: Gear to cap oil rig has to be shipped from

The Daily Green: The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill by the Numbers

Scoop Media:  Fran Wilde’s advisory group tells councils to start charging ratepayers for water

NZ Herald:  The 30-year power price hike

Mana Party

Ariana’s Facebook Page

Electoral Commission: Enrol or check your enrolment details

Electoral Commission: Local Elections 2013

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not sure that Fran Wilde is the correct target here. While she is the Chair, she is not the sole and only member. My understanding is that the report was largely driven by other members.

    My information is that internally GWRC is committed to a public ownership and operation model for the regional water supply. That is exactly how they have very successfully operated the city’s Bulk Water Supply system for several decades now and there is every expectation that they will continue with that model into the future.

    The real problem is the insane fragmentation of the water supply/treatment function in the region, with some 14 different organisations involved either as owners and/or operators. It’s utterly stupid and inefficient … a functional amalgamation is long overdue.

  2. While I agree that the piped water supply should remain a non-commercial public service, and the organisations which maintain it public goods, not “council assets” to be sold off, I do wonder about the wisdom of encouraging people to rely solely on piped water. In Ōtautahi, piped water supplies broke down after the quakes, in some places for weeks, and in others it was unsafe to drink for some time, due to the risk of sewage mixing with water due to band sewage from broken pipes. Also, there are many ways that pollutants can enter piped water, from corroding or broken pipes, to pollutants added intentionally (eg fluoride, chlorine). A resilient water policy would also encourage and enable people to collect rain water on their own properties, perhaps through subsidies or interest-free loans for decent size water storage tanks. All the best to Ariana in her campaign.

  3. And yet, Red, Wilde led the privatisation of Wellington’s Capital Power to Canadian firm, Trans Alta, in 1994 and 1995 (sold in two parts).

    Whilst you may be correct that others in the EAG (Expert Advisory Group) are in favour of water metering (and eventual privatisation), this seems a re-play of the mid-1990s when – by a wafer thin majority – WCC sold off Capital Power…

  4. The Trans Alta hock off is a great example of how “partial” asset sales can quickly morph into “total” asset sales. I had wondered if people might remember this rather salient piece of history when the general asset sales discussion comes up… I personally make mention of it to people I came into contact with when discussing the wider subject.

Comments are closed.