In May 2015, an independent report about the best way to manage water and waste infrastructure was presented to Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa District councils.
The report made two recommendations:
- a) That Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa District Councils transfer their water and wastewater assets into a jointly-owned not-for-profit council-controlled organisation (CCO), and
- b) That the councils retain ownership of their urban stormwater assets, but outsource management of those assets to the CCO on a cost recovery basis.
The report did not recommend establishing a private water company. The privatisation of council-delivered water services is against the law in New Zealand.
In mid-2016 all three Councils agreed what a council-owned CCO might look like, if one went ahead. This is a plain English version of that agreement. Since the October 2016 elections all three Councils have reviewed the agreement and reached different views.
Waikato District Council has confirmed its commitment to an asset-owning CCO. Waipa District Council wants a staged approach to forming a CCO. Read the news release here.
On May 4 2017, Hamilton City Council agreed a shared service, non-asset waters management company) was its preferred model for collaborating with other councils. Read the news release and the Council report. Neither Waikato nor Waipa have formally discussed the model proposed by Hamilton City. A Governance Group of elected members may meet shortly to progress discussions.