Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says this morning’s Waipa District Council decision not to proceed with a shared approach to waters management is a lost opportunity for the region.
“Hamilton City Council has worked hard over recent years to be able to deliver the many benefits identified in a shared approach to managing water services. The proposal to establish a non-asset-owning shared waters management company was developed at the request of Waipa District Council, and endorsed by our Council last year,” Mayor King says.
“In December Waipa decided not to proceed with this model. They reconsidered the proposal again today, and have again elected not to proceed.”
Prior to today’s meeting Mayor King wrote an open letter to Waipa District Council, requesting they consider approving the original proposal. In the letter Mayor King stated further delay in establishing a shared waters management company would be robbing the region’s ratepayers of the benefits this approach would bring.
"This is a lost opportunity,” Mayor King says. “Central Government has clearly indicated it is looking at how waters management can be addressed on a regional or sub-regional basis. I think the message from Government is clear — come up with a solution yourselves or we will present you with one.
“Numerous and costly reports have identified many financial and non-financial benefits in councils working together to deliver these critical services. Hamilton City Council already provides a great waters service to our communities and we will continue to look at how we can improve the resilience of these services in the future.
“Our Council has not yet had the opportunity to discuss what today’s Waipa District Council decision may mean in the short term. However, with Hamilton’s position as a high-growth council I believe it’s clear a collaborative approach, whether with neighbouring or other councils, provides the best value for ratepayers in the long term,” Mayor King says.