Waipa District Council will re-enter discussions with Hamilton City Council about forming a non asset-owning company to provide day-to-day operations for water and wastewater.
Council has confirmed a non-asset owning model is its preferred option for collaborating with other councils on driving water efficiencies. Under this model each council would retain ownership of all its assets. All major water and wastewater decisions would continue to be made by individual councils with the company acting as a specialist waters advisor.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest said there was “no appetite” at Waipa to form an asset-owning water company. But Waipa would support a non-asset owning model and now needed to “nut out the detail” before putting a formal proposal before the public, he said.
A final decision on forming a company cannot be made until the public has been consulted, probably towards the end of the year. The consultation is likely to put three options to the community: no change to current arrangements, forming a non-asset owning company or transferring water and wastewater assets to an asset-owning entity.
“Both Hamilton and Waipa are broadly on the same page in terms of a non-asset owning model. We both want the most cost-efficient and effective water and wastewater services for our communities. But there’s still a range of questions Waipa needs answered before going to the next step and taking detailed information to the public.”
Hamilton City has already resolved to form a shared waters management company – a non-asset owning CCO - with Waipa and Waikato, pending public consultation. Waikato District Council has yet to come to a position.
At today’s Council meeting Mayor Mylchreest along with Councillors Andrew Brown and Clare St Pierre were re-appointed to a Governance Group to reconvene discussions with Hamilton City and Waikato District.
The recommendation to confirm a non-asset owning water company as its preferred option and re-appoint Governance Group members was carried 10-2. Councillors Vern Wilson and Judy Bannon voted against. Councillor Clare St Pierre was absent from the meeting.