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.
Since the October 2016 elections all three Councils have reviewed the information received. While all three Councils want the most effective and cost-effecient water and wastewater services, they have reached different views on the best model to use.
Waikato District Council has confirmed its commitment to an asset-owning CCO, as originally recommended in May 2015.
Waikato District Council has not formally discussed the non-asset owning CCO model and will consider this option in July 2017. At the same time, Waikato District Council will consider a further option; to expand its existing relationships with Watercare Services and Waikato-Tainui. Read the news release.