Wa­ter com­pany back on the agenda

Waikato News - - News -

A pro­posal to form awa­ter com­pany to man­age wa­ter and waste­water is back on the agenda.

At yes­ter­day’s Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil meet­ing elected mem­bers were ex­pected to be asked to reaf­firm the coun­cil’s sup­port for a ratepayer-owned coun­cil con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion (CCO) to man­age wa­ter and waste wa­ter on be­half of Waikato, Waipa Dis­trict and Hamil­ton City coun­cils.

The pro­posal stems from an in­de­pen­dent rec­om­men­da­tion made to all three coun­cils in May 2015 which iden­ti­fied fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits to ratepay­ers from form­ing a coun­cilowned wa­ter com­pany.

All three coun­cils have al­ready re­solved to sup­port form­ing an as­set-own­ing CCO, sub­ject to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. This fol­lowed an agree­ment thrashed out be­tween the coun­cils be­fore lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions in Oc­to­ber which cov­ered a range of is­sues in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion, debt and share­hold­ing ar­range­ments. All three coun­cils said they would re­visit the agree­ment once new coun­cils had been elected.

Waikato was first off the blocks yes­ter­day and was to con­sider a staff rec­om­men­da­tion that coun­cil con­tinue sup­port­ing an as­set-own­ing CCO with the three coun­cils as sole share­hold­ers. The re­port notes a two-coun­cil CCO or non-as­set own­ing CCO could also be con­sid­ered but said both op­tions would re­quire sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional anal­y­sis and would drive fur­ther costs and de­lays.

The re­port notes Hamil­ton City Coun­cil is ex­pected to re­quest a slight change to the ex­ist­ing agree­ment to make the city solely re­spon­si­ble for in­stalling res­i­den­tial wa­ter me­ters, should they ever be needed in the city. Wa­ter me­ters are al­ready largely in place, or are cur­rently be­ing in­stalled, in both Waikato and Waipa dis­tricts.

Waikato’s re­port rec­om­mends that, if a re­quest is made by the city to change the ex­ist­ing agree­ment in re­la­tion to me­ters, Waikato Dis­trict coun­cil­lors sup­port the change and con­tinue sup­port­ing the as­set-own­ing CCO pro­posal.

Waipa Dis­trict Coun­cil and Hamil­ton City Coun­cil are also ex­pected to re­con­sider their sup­port for the CCO pro­posal within com­ing weeks.

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