Waipa’s community looks set to formally have a say on whether or not three councils should form a joint company to manage water and wastewater.
At a meeting today, Waipa District Council voted 6-4 to adopt draft documentation outlining how a council-controlled organisation (CCO) would be structured, should one be formed. The CCO would manage water and wastewater on behalf of Waipa and Waikato District Councils and Hamilton City Council. Stormwater would be managed by the CCO under contract.
The draft agreement outlining the CCO structure will be put to the incoming Council following elections in October. If it agrees to proceed, a formal proposal to form a CCO will be put to the wider community next year. By law, no decision to form a CCO can be made until the community has been consulted.
Waikato District Council unanimously agreed to support the move last week with Hamilton City Councillors due to discuss the issue on July 14.
Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the Council had spent enormous amounts of time on this issue and it was now time for the public to get involved. Mylchreest was on the Governance Group which settled on a potential structure for a CCO and said the proposed agreement represented “give and take” from all three councils.
“We went into this to get the best deal for Waipa and we now need to go out to the community and see what they think. I think we now have a very clear picture of what a CCO would look like,” he said.
“The community will need to assess whether the deal on the table is good enough. The community should have the overriding say as to whether or not we go forward.”
Three Waipa councillors – Laurie Hoverd, Grahame Webber and Sue Milner – were absent from the today’s meeting.
Councillors Vern Wilson, Judy Bannon, Hazel Barnes and Clare St Pierre voted against the decision.