[Documents menu]Political and general history of Aotearoa - New Zealand
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 23:39:35 -0800
From: Janice Moira Graham <JanisGraham@xtra.co.nz>
To: bobolsen@arcos.org
Subject: re: Imact of MAI on Municipal Bodies

Impact of MAI on municipal bodies

By Janice Moira Graham
22 December 1997

Hi Bob,

I am interested in your letter re: municipal imact of MAI. I thought you might like to know of the situation here in New Zealand.

The N.Z. Local Government Bodies (Municipals) must examine all services provided to the public and weigh up the public good aspect and private good aspect with the intention of setting up Local Authority Trading Enterprises (Companies) to fully commercialise each of the services.

Once a L.A.T.E. has been established it becomes registered in the Companies Office and all information about it becomes commercially sensitive. This means these companies can then be sold without public consultation because of commercial sensitivity (just a back door method of privatisation)

The Local Government Bodies (Councils) must present a commercially viable proposition on each of their services to Government by July 1998.

Those universally available, affordable services (water, wastewater, roading, municipal parks and recreation centres, libraries, ports, airports, regional forests, works business units, etc) owned by the public are now being set up to be flogged off to foreign investors as fast as the bureacrats can manage it. All with minimum or no public consultation.

I believe the amendment to the Local Government Act leads all the way back to IMF via APEC.

The effect of the MAI on these privatised public assets is frightful. Water for example becomes the subject of franchisement or outright sale, to become more valuable than gold, to be used as and extortionate means of controlling the public, and furthermore exported/channelled off to a corporate agribusinesses in formerly unarable land purchased cheaply. . .i.e., outback Australia for the provision of produce for world market. The contract may say supply . . .the MAI says do what you like. . .so no guarantee that we will even be supplied with water.

Private enterprise in roads is another loaded scenario with the impact of MAI. There will be no upgrading of existing infrastructure as this is a loss to shareholders. There will simply be a proliferation of pipe and steel technology as this is justification for raising prices.

The wealthy may ride the superhighways for $60 a hit while the rest of us journey about on roads reduced to bullock tracks.

Recently our local council sold 50% of our works business unit (maintenance) to Serco, (English transnational). At first they were wonderful, Serco trucks everywhere busy busy busy. . .last week they laid off 100 workers. They only purchased 3 months ago! The council can't do a thing about it, & even less so when the MAI is ratified.


Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 11:25:53 -0800
From: Janice Moira Graham <JanisGraham@xtra.co.nz>
To: bobolsen@arcos.org, fawcett@physics.utoronto.ca
Subject: [Fwd: MAI Privatize New Zealand]

Dear Eric,

Thank-you for your letter.

The situation referred to in my letter to Bob is the Local Government Act, Amendment (1996.)

The N.Z. Local Bodies (Councils/Municipal Bodies) must examine each of the public services that they have stewardship over with the intention of making the services commercially viable enterprises. (User Pays) They must present their findings to the Minister of Local Government by July 1998.

For example in Papakura (a town of some 40.000 people) each of the services has now been either contracted out to consultants, contractors or franchised. Town planning has been contracted out: waste Services have been partially sold, partially contracted out to Waste Management (NZ) to American Co. (WMX). Water and Waste water has been franchised for 50 years to a merger of English Co.(Thames Water) and French Co. Generale des Eaux, now United Water.

The library has been set up as fee paying. Maintenance Services have been contracted out to Heb Contractors and so on. . .the staff of the council have now been dramatically reduced as a consequence of these changes.

Morale for fight back is poor with the former chairman of Papakura's Citizens and Ratepayers being sued for $750.000.00 by Papakura District Councillors for revealing details about the two foreign companies who purchased the water/wastewater to the newspapers, and for making a statement to the press about taking the Council to the Serious Fraud Office for investigation.

Auckland, N.Z.'s largest city recently set up a Local Authority Trading Enterprise (Metrowater) to manage water and waste-water services. In the process they commercialised waste water. Written into the contract was the right to disconnect water and impose a $230.00 reconnection fee. Three councillors who pushed through the change to water services became directors on the board of Metrowater. There were a total of 2.500 submissions; 184 supported the intitiative whilst 2.300 elected for water to remain under the jurisdiction of council. Only the 184 supporting submissions were taken notice of.

From local experience (Franklin District Council ) L.A.T.E.'s are able to be sold without further consultation of the public as they have been registered with the Companies Office, and any further information is considered commercially sensitive. This privatisation process is now underway in most of the major cities of N.Z. as it is with central government assets.

Enclosed is the URL for a speech written by Roger Kerr and published in a major business weekly paper


The Independent Business Weekly under the pseudonym 'Staff Writer'. Roger Kerr is the C.E.O. of the Business Round Table, a group who exert an unusual influence over central Government and who has been most active in promoting the downsizing of central and local governments in favour of private enterprise. Also enclosed is a summary of a paper originally written by the Public Service Privatisation Research Unit from England (another branch in Sydney Australia) on the Privatisation of Water and Wastewater Services.

I think you have plenty to worry about. . .as the IMF/World Bank agenda are exactly the same in each of the countries they are controlling. I have done literally tons of research on water because I am fighting for water to remain in full public ownership and for the non-commercialisation of wastewater, under the auspices of a lobby group I set up here called Water for All.

We have taken the Papakura District Council to the Ombudsman for failure to adequately consult with the public, to the Auditor General and to the Serious Fraud Office.(all to no avail) and we are now awaiting a decision by the legal aid authority in order to take the council to court for a 'Judicial Review.'

There are so many undemocratic changes happening in N.Z. which I understand are directives from IMF and the World Bank. They appear to be running the country through the Business Round Table and politicians who appear to be more concerned with personal financial success than governing of behalf of the people. Read up on our employment legislation. Those few rights that were gained over 60 years of social democracy are all but gone.

Enclosed is http of the Political News Room our Governments daily press releases:

Read over the press releases particularly those of the Labour/ Alliance Party and read the about changes to our demcoracy for yourself. Where for instance in the Western world would you find legislation which allows the police to phonetap/search and get into bank accounts without a warrant under the pretext that they are monitoring gangs? What gangs?



P.S. There are a lot of people who do not like what I have to say. . .please be wary of people posing to be supportive on MAI-Not who are in fact simply monitoring the list serve on behalf of the N.Z. Government.

Bob Olsen Toronto bobolsen@arcos.org (:-)

For MAI-not subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other MAI sites please see http://mai.flora.org/

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