Waikato District Council wants to form a ratepayer-owned council-control organisation (CCO) for future water management along with Waipa District and Hamilton City Councils.
In May, independent consultants recommended the three councils form a not-for-profit CCO to manage water and wastewater across the sub-region. The report said doing so would save ratepayers of the three Councils $468 million over 28 years.
Waikato district would save $28 million over 10 years, and would get huge benefits from improved drinking water quality and environmental compliance, the report said.
Today members of Waikato district’s Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously to support, in principle, the formation of a ratepayer-owned CCO to manage water to manage water on behalf of three councils.
Mayor Allan Sanson stressed it was an “in principle” decision only.
“Today’s recommendation sends a strong signal to ratepayers that we believe forming a CCO and capturing those massive savings is the best thing to do. But we have to wait and see where Hamilton and Waipa go before proceeding any further.”
The recommendation will need to be ratified at a full Council meeting later this month.
“Before any final decision is made all three councils would need to go through an extensive consultation process with their communities. We’re still in the very early stages but we thought it was important to be upfront about where this council believes it should be heading.
“I’m particularly pleased that all Waikato district councillors kept an open mind on this issue as they are required to do.
They haven’t focused solely on the savings, which are substantial but have also considered the non-financial benefits including better environmental outcomes for the district. And they considered four options very carefully before deciding this was the best option for our own ratepayers.”
Waipa District Council and Hamilton City Council have yet to formally discuss the independent report. Both councils have already held public workshops.
For more information please contact:
Erin Rangi-Watt, Senior Communications Advisor, Waikato District Council
027 551 1601