Around the country, mayors elected in October 2016 are reaching the half-way point in their three-year terms.
Local Focus video Journalist Hunter Calder spoke with Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson who's been in the job for seven and a half years.
"Housing and employment have become a huge issue in this part of the country," he said, pointing to the associated challenge of supplying infrastructure to keep up with the expanding population.
Being able to keep up with the growth and continue service delivery was one reason rates would have to go up, but there was an issue with some people not able to afford rate increases.
"We can't keep going back [to ratepayers] to fund a lot of this infrastructure and we need more support from central government," he said. "It costs a lot of money to run a council these days.
"It is really hard people for people and I can appreciate that, but we're in the business of making sure people's wastewater is dealt with appropriately and their potable water is actually drinkable."
As part of that, the council planned to devolve water services to an independent management board. This could mean water management was taken out of the hands of democratically-elected representatives and political considerations.
It's on the table for discussion with the council's Long-Term Plan now out for public consultation until April 16.