Waipa District Council will work with Hamilton City Council to seek the views of their communities on proposals for a sub-regional approach to manage water and wastewater.
In May this year both councils agreed a joint, non-asset owning shared waters management company was the preferred way to manage water services in the future, given growth and advantages of scale.
At today’s Hamilton City Council meeting it was resolved to publicly consult over the proposal before Christmas, allowing both councils to receive further information to support decision-making around their respective 10-Year Plans.
The proposed management structure would not own any major water assets; assets would remain 100 per cent owned by each council. All major decisions, including decisions on capital projects and investment would continue to be made by elected councillors.
Waikato District Council, which has also been involved in discussions, has yet to decide whether or not it supports forming a water company with the other two councils.
Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest and Hamilton mayor Andrew King said it was timely for the community to have a say on any potential change. No final decisions would be made by the respective councils until the public's view had been heard, they said.
Mayor King said the doors remained "wide open" to Waikato District Council joining Waipa and Hamilton in a shared waters management company.
"Each council must do what's in the best interests of its own ratepayers," Mayor King said.
Mayor Mylchreest said his council believed that given growth and capacity issues, councils needed to consider different models to better deliver water and wastewater services.
"Essentially, we're talking about pooling our in-house expertise to get the best advantages for ratepayers; it's really that simple. Our finances and assets will remain separate but we'll get benefits from things like procurement and more aligned planning between councils."