Councillors to scrutinise water issues

30 October 2015
Waipa District Council

Three Waipa District Councillors look set to join other local politicians from Hamilton and Waikato district  to work through key issues involved in forming a ratepayer-owned company to manage water operations across the region.

Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest and councillors Clare St Pierre and Andrew Brown were appointed to a governance group at Tuesday’s council meeting. They will join elected members from Hamilton City and Waikato District and consider issues Mylchreest says must be resolved before any council-controlled organisation (CCO) could go ahead.

Hamilton City Council appointed three members – Mayor Julie Hardaker and councillors Martin Gallagher and Garry Mallet - to the governance group on Thursday (Oct 29). Waikato District Council will not consider the issue until November 9.

Mylchreest stressed the political governance group had no ability to make any decisions. It was there to dig deeper and work through “cornerstone issues“ that needed comprehensive discussion.

“We are still a long way off from making any decision and in fact, Waipa has not agreed to form a waters CCO, even in principle.  What we have done is identify some fundamental issues we want resolved before we go any further.  They are issues that we want clarity on, and that the public will also want clarity on, before any decisions are made,” he said.

“Any conclusions reached by the governance group must go back to the three councils involved for full discussion and it will be up to each individual council to decide what it wants to do.”

Mylchreest stressed the councils involved could not form any CCO until an extensive public consultation process had been held. That was unlikely to be before 2017.

Issues to be discussed by the governance group would includes asset valuation, decision-making processes and potential shareholding arrangements. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Waipa District Council agreed to pay its share - $87,500 – to help fund the next stage of work.

Hamilton City Council has agreed to contribute $175,000 with Waikato District Council expected to pay a further $87,500.
If Waikato District Council agrees to join the governance group, it is likely to meet for the first time in November.  

Cr Vern Wilson voted against Tuesday’s decisions. 

All media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of council) 027 5077 599.