The former head of Auckland’s water services says ratepayers face hikes in charges that are wrong and unnecessary, RNZ reveals. Water charges are forecast to double over the next decade, beginning with a 7% rise this year. Raveen Jaduram, who was chief executive of Watercare for six years, said he is speaking up because this is not being debated and Aucklanders need to know. Watercare has $11 billion in assets and just $2b in debt – a strong balance sheet to borrow to fund upgrades, but it can’t because of its link with the council, which has hit capacity on borrowing.