Auckland Mayoral candidate John Tamihere said his plans to sell 49% of Watercare to ACC or the New Zealand Superannuation Fund would be used entirely to clean up the “shitty beaches” Phil Goff and his mates have neglected.

Tamihere said releasing the capital tied up in the Auckland owned ratepayer utility would “significantly reduce the burden on Aucklanders, who are already being squeezed by the mayor with his discriminatory Goff Gas Tax and many other hidden taxes.

“Releasing the value of 49% of the Watercare balance sheet means Auckland citizens won’t have to stumpup for the huge bills that are coming our way – like it or not – to update Auckland’s water infrastructure,”Tamihere said.

“The only way we are going to get clean beaches and waterways is to invest in the infrastructure to stoprun-off getting into the waterways. There’s no point in having an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, weneed to prevent the waste from getting there in the first place.

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“Goff should come clean on how he plans to fund the Watercare investment the city needs. He has to stop this outdated thinking that you can keep gouging the ratepayer. He has already announced rates will increase 10.5% during the next three years if he is returned as Mayor. Auckland’s citizens simply cannotafford another three years of Goff,” Tamihere said.

Tamihere said he would be releasing a full policy on water infrastructure and management over the coming weeks but when asked the question at an event this morning, he needed to tell the truth abouthow the city’s aging water infrastructure could be updated.

“We can’t put our heads in the sand any longer. We have NZ institutions such as the Superfund and ACC screaming out to invest in Auckland infrastructure and Goff won’t allow it to happen. It’s time to reduce the burden on ratepayers and use the city’s substantial asset portfolio to work for ratepayers, not the other way around,” he said.