Tasman District Mayor Richard Kempthorne says he's happy for a water rates conflict to be resolved by an arbitrator.
Three of Nelson's biggest companies are fighting a move by the district council to raise their water rates by more than $1 million a year.
The businesses are being told they now have to pay the residential rate, but they say that's unfair because they paid to set up their own water scheme in the 1970s.
Terry Kreft, manager of the Alliance Nelson meatworks, one of the affected industries, says the move would add 8-9% to overall operating costs.
The arbitration decision is expected later this year.