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Rates are a property tax.  Rates are invoiced to ratepayers in equal amounts 4 times a year.  The rating year is 1 July to 30 June.  Rates are made up of part uniform or fixed charges for the property, and part as a rate in the dollar, based on the value of your property. 

Your Rates - What you need to know 2015-16 [PDF, 2 MB]

This year Council has smoothed the overall rates increase to 2%. This year we will collect $52.3 million in rates.

Your rates may or may not increase by more than 2% it depends on 4 things:

  • the valuation of your property
  • how you use the land
  • where your property is located and what targeted rates apply
  • changes to the cost or funding of activities and services

Changes to your rates for 2015/16

Rates for 2015/16 have been calculated using property valuations from the 2014 revaluation.

We reviewed how activities were funded by rates. We've made some changes so they're more fair and proportionate for services and activities across the district, that benefit everyone. And in other cases benefit only certain groups of ratepayers.

• The level of public good (rates spread over the whole district equally) has increased such as the Waipaoa River scheme rate, Waiapu River erosion scheme rates. Up to 60% of these activities are now funded by the general rate.
• The various classes of the Waipaoa River scheme now all pay the same rate in the dollar. Before there were 6 different rates.
• There were 19 land drainage schemes all with different rate charges. These have all been merged and are now charged as one rate.
• Some individual rates activities on a property will increase or change significantly but the overall increase in rates on a property has been held as close to 2% as possible.
• Council have moved away from rating by DRA (differential rating area). More rates based on the inner and outer zones
• The share of the rates paid by the forestry sector for roading has increased. This means they contribute 5 times more for roads than a residential property. The Heart of Gisborne rate is now called City Centre Management and Promotion
• There are more capital value targeted rates. Some rates that were being rated in similar ways have been merged.  For example legacy loans and stock control are now on capital value.  Aquatic, theatres and recreation facilities are merged on capital value.  Building services and non subsidised local roads are merged on capital value.

What your rates pay for

On the back of your rates notice for instalment 1, is your rates assessment. This show details of each activity.  The activities that you contribute to will vary depending where your property is in the district.

General rates

These are charged in proportion to the capital value of your property. General rates are paid by all ratepayers.

Environmental policy - the cost of advising the public on how regulatory requirements affect them and their proposals for the use of the land. The cost of the District Plan and other planning projects and reserve management plans. Also includes the cost of resource consent monitoring and RMA enforcement.

Rivers control - this is a regional council function. It's the cost of monitoring rivers and surface water on land and the provision of flood control works by control of vegetation on river channels and preventative maintenance over the whole district.

Stormwater drainage - contribution towards the cost of collection and disposal of rainwater. The majority of stormwater costs are paid by targeted rates in Gisborne city and rural towns.

Treasury - This is the cost of administering our bank accounts, loans and investments and district loan expenses.  Councils have always funded some capital works by loan and this item covers the interest charges.

Economic development - this funds a portion of the economic development activity including tourism.

Targeted rates 

These are charges for services or facilities which you are invoiced only if you live in the area where these rates apply or you receive benefit.  These are paid by a specific group of ratepayers who receive or benefit from a specific service or activity.

Aquatic and recreation facilities - These are district facilities. The rates contribute to the cost of maintaining the Olympic Pool complex and our theatres and halls. The Olympic Pool also receives fee income from pool entry and other activities at the complex. The theatres and halls are available to encourage and enable the public to experience the performing and visuals arts and provide venues suitable for national events, seminars, weddings and other community activities. These rates are based on the capital value of your property. Properties in the Inner Zone contribute at a weighting of 1.0 and the Outer Zone contribute less with a weighting of 0.3.

Building services – this is the cost of providing advice to the public on regulatory requirements with the Building Act and also cost of resolving complaints about building related issues including stormwater on private property. Residential and lifestyle properties in Gisborne city and on the Poverty Bay Flats contribute 85%. The remaining 15% is paid by rural properties.

Roading (non-subsidised) - street cleaning, footpaths, street lighting and seal extensions on roads in the district that are not subsidised by NZTA.

Business area patrols (CBD) – based on Capital value - this is the full cost of providing the City Watch service in the CBD area of Gisborne city.

City centre management and promotion - for the promotion of the city centre with a primary focus on business activity in the Tairawhiti region and is payable by all non-residential properties in the designated CBD area based on capital value.

Coastal protection scheme - cost of foredune protection operating costs. The closer you live to the hazard the more you contribute. This is split into 3 bands. Bands A and B are based on capital value and band C is based on land value.

Commercial Recycling - this is a targeted rate on non-residential properties within Gisborne city which elect to receive the recycling collection service.

Dog control - covers the cost of responding to complaints about nuisance caused by stray dogs in urban areas. This rate is targeted to residential properties only. Dog registration fees are used to cover most of this service

Drainage - cost of providing land drainage in the designated areas of benefit. There are 2 groups - Direct beneficiaries and Contributors. Both rates are based on the area of land.

Economic development and tourism - covers the costs of preparing for and supporting economic and tourism activity throughout the district. This rate is payable by all industrial and commercial properties over the whole district based on capital value.

Flood control schemes - this is the contribution based on capital value for the cost of operating flood protection works. This activity is partially funded by the general rates.

  • Waipaoa there are 6 classes from A-F
  • Te Karaka – split between residential and non-residential properties

Legacy loans (district loans) and stock control – properties in the Inner Zone and rural towns contribute 30% with a rate based on capital value and the Outer Zone excluding rural towns contribute 70% with a rate based on the area of their property.

  • Legacy (district) loans - loans previously raised by the former local authorities for the construction of capital works
  • Stock control - the cost of dealing with urban and rural animals (other than dogs) which are not under the control of their owners.

Noise control - cost of responding to noise complaints. This is targeted to residential properties in Gisborne city, Makaraka, Wainui and lifestyle properties on the Poverty Bay Flats.

Passenger transport - the cost of providing a subsidised passenger transport service payable by all residents living in Gisborne city.

Parks and reserves – based on the Inner Zone (85%) and Outer Zone (15%) per rating unit the cost of maintaining all the parks, reserves, playing fields, beach access points, etc.

Pests and plants - a regional council responsibility to keep nuisance pests and noxious plants under control. All properties contribute, but farms pay a larger contribution. This is rated on land area.

Resource consents – based on land value. To provide assistance to the public and where possible clarify the problem. The focus is to allocate the use of natural resources to consent holders and to protect the quality of the natural and physical environment.

Roading flood damage and emergency works and subsidised local roads - partly fund by the NZTA. The targeted portion is based on capital value and is split into differential rating groups based on their highest and best land use that are weighted as follows: Residential 1.0; Horticulture and Pastoral farming 1.5; Industrial and Commercial 2.0; Forestry 5.0.

  • Flood damage and emergency works - covers approximately 25% of cost of repairs to roading network from an adverse event. The remaining 75% is funded by a NZTA subsidy.
  • Subsidised local roads - this charge is not just for the road outside your property, but for the total district-wide roading network. This is funded by NZTA subsidies, 32% by general rates and the remaining 10% by UAGC over the whole district.

Rural fires - council has an obligation to tend-to all fires that are not covered by the NZ Fire Service. This has been extended to include Gisborne city.

Rural transfer stations - partially covers the cost of operating 8 transfer stations at Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru Bay, Te Puia Springs, Tikitiki, Waiapu, Te Karaka, Whatatutu and Matawai. Includes the cost of cartage to Waiapu Landfill or Gisborne city. Residential properties within a 15km radius of a rural transfer station have been targeted for this rate. If you have multiple dwellings you will be charged per dwelling. Refuse stickers are issued to use when taking refuse to a transfer station. Ruatoria township have both kerbside collection and the use of the transfer station. A charge is payable for each service.

Soil conservation – advocacy and land use – based on land value by DRA. This is a regional council function concerned with erosion, land stabilisation and the effective use of land and the advice, communication and enforcement of this legislation.

Stormwater and drains - the costs of stormwater reticulation to dispose of rainwater and maintain assets in Gisborne city and rural townships. Funded by a per property charge payable by residents living in Gisborne city, Wainui, Okitu and rural towns including Patutahi and Manutuke.
The basis for stormwater and drains on commercial properties is capital value.

Water conservation – based on land value in each DRA. This is a regional council function payable by all ratepayers in the district and is the cost of monitoring the quality and volume of natural water, and ensuring that we are using these water resources wisely.

Waiapu River erosion control scheme - covers the operating costs and loan repayments of protection works on the river. This activity is partially funded by the general rate with the balance split between

  • Direct beneficiaries in Ruatoria Township and around the river pay 60% of the cost of the activity balance on capital value.
  • Indirect beneficiaries inside the catchment area pay 15% of the cost of the activity balance on capital value.
  • Contributors at the edges of the catchment pay 15% of the activity balance based on land area.


Sewerage availability - the charge if you're in an area where sewerage service is available but not connected, including Te Karaka
Sewerage (pan charge) - a usage charge based on the number of toilet pans connected. A residential dwelling pays only one pan charge, no matter how many toilet pans are installed. All other properties pay one pan charge for each toilet pan or urinal installed and connected.
Sewerage uniform charge - this is a "connection charge". There is one charge per separately used or inhabited part of a property including Te Karaka.

Waste management charge – solid waste / household refuse collection including the cost of recycling where the service is provided throughout the district.

Wainui fore dune capital works - recovery of the cost of capital works completed in 2007 for fore dune protection works as requested by the majority of residents in the affected area. The targeted rate is charged on the amount of land area of the property owner's rating unit which is in the hazard zone.

Uniform water charge is the cost of delivering drinking water to each separately used or inhabited part of a property throughout the district where the service is provided. If there are 3 flats on the property there will be 3 water charges.
Availability charge - the charge if you are in an area where water service is available, but the property is not connected.
Fixed water by meter charge per cubic meter to properties identified as an extra-ordinary use and some rural domestic users. Metered domestic users receive a free of charge allowance of 300 cubic meters.

Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)

This is a fixed charge per separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP). The UAGC covers rates on activities that benefit the community equally. If you have 2 flats or dwellings on your property, you will pay 2 UAGCs. The UAGC is $636.57 (GST excl.) and is made up of the following rates:

Cemeteries $10.12 - a large proportion of the costs of running the main cemeteries are covered by burial fees.  This rate covers the shortfall which cannot be recovered.

Civil Defence $21 - a statutory requirement which applies equally to all parts of the district.

District civic and corporate expenses $6.80 – funds scholarships, awards, grants, civic functions, naval visits, Anzac Day, citizenship ceremonies. Corporate expenses include the costs of Membership of Local Government New Zealand, NZ Sister Cities

Strategic planning and engagement $112.08 - to facilitate liaison activities throughout the district including consultation specific to Treaty and Resource Management Act issues.  To provide community consultation in compliance with the Local Government Act 2002.  Provision of policy development as required by legislation.

Economic development $2.77 - covers the costs of preparing for and supporting economic and tourism activity throughout the district. This is partially funded by a targeted rate.

Environmental and public health protection $62.78 - the cost of monitoring environmental health and all other legislative activities delegated to council by central government.

Managing solid waste and transfer stations$75.83 - the cost of operating district transfer stations and landfills, and the cost of transportation of solid waste out of the district.  

Mayor and councillor representation costs $89.84 - democratic process, the cost of the mayor and councillors who meet and represent the people.  It also includes an allocation of the salary costs of those staff that support the council meetings.

HB Williams Memorial Library and rural libraries $85.77 - HB Williams Memorial Library and all the rural and mobile libraries throughout the district

Public toilets $47.93 - cost of cleaning and maintaining 70 public toilets throughout the district.

Roading - 10% of maintenance costs $87.81 - the 10% component of subsidised roading which pays for the roading network across the whole district.

Tairawhiti Museum $33.84- grant funding to Tairāwhiti Museum.

Last updated: 13/08/2015 4:41pm Copyright © 2007-2015 Gisborne District Council

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