‘Ask Us First’

Anti-Meter Activists taking 6,500 signature

petition to KCDC

‘Ask Us First’ petition organiser Jackie Elliott says the public have given overwhelming support  for a ratepayer referendum on water metering  – with more than 6500 people signing in only nine weeks.

The petition will be presented to the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) at a meeting on Thursday, November 17.

Ms Elliott says: “Generous locals and businesses have donated billboards, paint, advertising money, petrol vouchers — and endless free postage and printing, stickers and petition boards. “And out-of-towners donated more billboards and sent banners they had made us.”

Fifty anti-meter campaigners

Ms Elliott says that within a week of launching the petition, 27 people were on the email list and the number of campaigners grew to 50 by the end of the first month.

“The first billboards went up, but one on Kapiti Road was taken down by Council staff” she says.

“Those 50 core campaigners have multiplied to probably a few hundred by now, because many people printed off copies of the form and went door knocking.

“Campaigners also went to clubs, schools, sports events and left the forms at over 60 businesses. They also booked space at markets and shopping centres.

Initially a lot of time was spent explaining the issues, but by week 5 support was near unanimous with people queuing to sign; 300-400 signatures a day being normal.

Warning from Nelson people

Nelsonians visited Kapiti to warn us about the bleak scenario of cost increases they have experienced in 12 years’ of water metering.

Ms Elliott also alleges a phone survey carried out by the KCDC, at ratepayers’ cost, could have asked residents how they felt about water meters, but failed to ask one question about them.  

“Meanwhile,” she says, ”the papers were paid to print 11 different full-page KCDC water advertising features, paid for by us. ”
The petition goes into to KCDC at 10am on Thursday morning (November 17), and supporters are asked to arrive and protest from 9am.

Ms Elliott says the petitioners ask the KCDC to announce they will hold a Yes/No referendum on the issue.

She adds:”We ask that the water metering proposal be binned if they do not receive a majority mandate from ratepayers.

“We will also ask for the elected Councillors at that meeting to stand up and call for a vote on water meters from the table that same day.”