Jack Yan for Mayor 2010
Overseas Terminal
Water: it'll stay ours
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I’m not a technocrat. I may believe in commerce and trade, but I also believe in social responsibility. It’s part of what we do at the Medinge Group.
   In fact, I believe in it so much, I co-wrote a book on it, Beyond Branding. And a second book I wrote has this message at its core.
   In the last 25 years, we’ve been selling off the cream of public assets to foreigners. And I’m not happy about that.
   Look at the power sector (incidentally, did you know the remnants of our old Municipal Electricity Department was sold in the last term?). What efficiencies have actually been gained in the last quarter-century with technocratic policies?
   We are basically left with a bunch of cartels charging what they like.
   There must be a balance between public and private. Let’s be sensible rather than get suckered in by ideologies.
   But one pledge I will make to Wellingtonians is this: no water privatization.
   It’s ours, and it’ll stay ours.

Are you any happier with electricity in private hands? It’s a simple question. Most Kiwis say we are not. Water is a necessity and, during my term, it will not be privatized.

Even though I oppose water metering, I support educating people about conservation. I’ve remained in touch with my contacts from the UNEP on water projects. And I support putting collective water usage data online, so people and groups can find innovative ways to monitor themselves.

We are still wasting water, as a city. Under my term, we’ll work with firms to upgrade and modernize our facilities. Wellington has a pretty appalling 21 per cent leakage rate—we can fix this without resorting to selling off yet another asset.



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Jack’s to-do list
There’ll be more on this issue. Right now, I wanted you to know where I came from. Coming up will be a more detailed discussion on water conservation.

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