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Shared water company recommended by Hamilton and Waipa Council panel

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A panel of six elected members from Hamilton City and Waipa District Councils will recommend their councils form a shared company to manage water, wastewater and stormwater services.

The Hamilton Councillors (Mayor Andrew King, Garry Mallett and Dave Macpherson) plus Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest and councillors Bruce Thomas and Clare St Pierre had delegated authority to hear submissions on the proposal to form a 100 per cent council-owned company. Seventy-five submissions (including late submissions) were received. Of those submissions, 24 supported the proposal, 45 opposed it on a range of grounds and six were neutral. Five submitters presented verbal submissions at a public hearing.

Following deliberations, a resolution to recommend a Shared Waters Management Company be formed was jointly moved by both mayors. The resolution was unanimously supported by the four remaining councillors and will now go to each council for consideration and a final decision.

During deliberations the six councillors noted the proposal to form a Shared Waters Management Company was not a staged transition to any other form of company, including an asset-owning company. Neither Council supports forming an asset-owning waters company.

If formed, Councils would continue to independently make all decisions about the levels of service and the development of water assets for their respective communities. There would be no private shareholders and any decision relating to water meters or water charges would remain with each Council.

A report in Hamilton City Council's council agenda said the reasons for the recommendation to form the company centred around the substantial financial efficiencies offered to each Council compared with the status quo; the regional benefits to be gained from closer collaboration and the significant non-financial benefits from the proposal including the ability to attract and retain expert staff.

Hamilton City Council will make a final decision on whether or not to form a Shared Waters Management Company at its Council meeting on December 12. Waipa District Council will make its own independent decision at a Council meeting on December 19. Both meetings are open to the public.

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