Governance – How the entities are managed and governed

Government’s reform would mean Hamilton’s water, wastewater and stormwater services would be managed by a much larger organisation. Hamilton would receive services from an organisation responsible for delivery of those services across Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, and parts of Manawatu-Whanganui. At least initially, existing waters staff would remain based in Hamilton and it is expected local service delivery centres would remain. 

The biggest change is at a governance and strategic management level. Instead of Council managing its water services and being governed by the Mayor and Councillors, the new waters organisation would deliver the services via a chief executive and management team under a professional Board.

This board would be independent and skills-based and would be appointed by the Regional Representative Group (RRG). Unlike the community representative groups, there is no requirement for the Board to have a specific level of mana whenua representation.  

The RRG would be comprised of 12-14 members. Membership of the RRG is shared equally between representatives chosen by councils and representatives chosen by mana whenua in the area. The RRG’s role is to represent the views of the community, appoint the Board, approve the entity’s strategic planning and monitor the performance of the Board. 

The Board is also required to consider the views of individual councils on strategic decisions or investment priority. 

Sub-regional representative groups will be established to provide more local input into the RRG and a greater local voice in decision-making and investment. These sub-regional groups will have the same 50/50 representation between councils and mana whenua. 

Government says communities, through their councils, are the owners of the assets via a shareholding based on population. Mana whenua have no ownership or shareholding in the structure. 

Protections against privatisation 

Government says the legislation provides safeguards against future privatisation. 

Shares in the entities are held by councils on behalf of their communities. This share-holding model will help protect against privatisation, as all shareholders would have to unanimously agree to any privatisation proposal. Should this happen, there is provision for a public referendum with any future proposal for privatisation requiring 75 per cent of votes in favour to carry it. 

Page reviewed: 17 Jun 2022 1:52pm