Ngā hua o ō rēti

What your rates pay for

Rates are a property tax that 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.

Estimated cost of activities per day

Rates per day 2021/11

What your rates pay for

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

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.

Planning - The cost to comply with statutory provisions of the LGA 2002, Resource Management Act 1991 and Reserves Management Act 1997. Also includes the cost of preparing, maintaining and implementing strategies, policies and plans to promote sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

Pest & Plants - A regional council responsibility to keep nuisance pests and noxious plants under control. All properties contribute 60% of this cost.

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

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.
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 7.5.

  • 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 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.

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 $781.26 GST inclusive, and is made up of the following rates:

Cemeteries $15.86 - 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 $34.42 - a statutory requirement which applies equally to all parts of the district.

District civic and corporate expenses $14.33 – 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 $64.60 - 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 and tourism $3.20 - 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 $89.39 - the cost of monitoring environmental health and all other legislative activities delegated to council by central government.

Managing solid waste and transfer stations $91.67 - 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 $120.62 - 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.

Library $100.84 - HB Williams Memorial Library and all the rural and mobile libraries throughout the district

Litter bins and cleaning public areas $13.08

Public toilets $78.15 - cost of cleaning and maintaining 70 public toilets throughout the district.

Roading $114.11

Tairawhiti Museum $40.99 - grant funding to Tairāwhiti Museum.

A separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit includes any portion inhabited or used by (the owner/ a person other than the owner), and who has the right to use or inhabit that portion by virtue of a tenancy, lease, licence, or other agreement.

This definition includes separately used parts, whether or not actually occupied at any particular time, which are provided by the owner for rental (or other form of occupation) on an occasional or long term basis by someone other than the owner.

Interpretation rules

  1. Each separate shop or business activity on a rating unit is a separate use, for which a separate UAGC is payable. (See Guidance Note 1.)
  2. Each dwelling, flat, or additional rentable unit (attached or not attached) on a residential property which is let for a substantial part of the year to persons other than immediate family members is a separately inhabited part of a property, and separate UAGCs are payable. (See Guidance Note 2.)
  3. Each residential rating unit which has, in addition to a family dwelling unit, one or more non­ residential uses (ie home occupation units) will be charged an extra UAGC for each additional use. (See Guidance Note 3.)
  4. Each non-residential activity which has, in addition to its business or commercial function, co-sited residential units which are not a prerequisite part of the business or commercial function, will pay additional UAGCs for each residential unit. (See Guidance Note 4.)
  5. Individually tenanted flats, including retirement units, apartments and town houses (attached or not attached) or multiple dwellings on Māori freehold land are separately inhabited parts, and will each pay a separate UAGC. (See Note 5.)
  6. Each title on a multiple-managed forestry holding (that is, where the forest is broken into several individual small titles) is a separately used part except when one or more titles are adjacent and under the same ownership, in which case the rules of contiguity apply.
  7. Each block of land for which a separate title has been issued is liable to pay a UAGC, even if that land is vacant. NOTE: for the purpose of this definition, vacant land and vacant premises offered or intended for use or habitation by a person other than the owner and usually used as such are defined as used. Two or more adjacent blocks of vacant land are not eligible for Remission under "Contiguity" (S.20 of LG(R)A 02) because they are not "used for the same purpose" (i.e. they are not used at all).
  8. Each dwelling, flat, or additional rentable unit (attached or not attached) on a pastoral, horticultural or forestry property which is let for a substantial part of the year to persons other than immediate family members is a separately inhabited part of a property, and separate UAGCs are payable.
  9. For the avoidance of doubt, a rating unit that has a single use or occupation is treated as having one separately used or inhabited part.
  10. A substantial part of the year is considered to be three months or more (this total period may be fragmented, and may occur at any part of the rating year).

Guidance notes

The following notes are not rules, but are intended to aid officers in the interpretation of the rules.

  • A single building on one title with 24 separate shops would pay 24 UAGCs.
  • A motel with an attached dwelling would pay only one UAGC, because the attached dwelling is essential to the running of the motel. (See rule D above).
  • A motel with an attached restaurant which is available to the wider public has two separately used parts, and would pay two UAGCs. Likewise, a motel with an attached Conference Facility would pay an additional UAGC.
  • A business which makes part of its income through the leasing of part of its space to semi-passive uses such as billboards, or money machines, is not regarded as having a separately used or inhabited part, and would not be charged a separate UAGC.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, an apartment block in which each apartment is on a separately owned title is merely a series of co-sited Rating Units, and each will pay a UAGC.
  • If, however, in the above example a management company leases the individual titles for 10 years or more, and those leases are registered on the titles, and the leases stipulate that the management company is responsible for paying the rates, and if the management company then operates the apartments as a single business operation, that business operation may be considered for a remission under Council's remission policies and have all but one UAGC remitted.
  • An apartment block with separate laundry, or restaurant, which are available to the general population as a separate business enterprise, would pay an additional UAGC for each of these functions as separately used parts.

  • The rule will apply to properties identified as "flats" on the valuation record, administered by Council's valuer. Sleep-outs and granny flats will generally be identified as "sleep-out" on the valuation record and will not normally qualify for additional UAGCs.
  • If a property is identified on the valuation record as having flats, but these in fact are used only for family members or for others for very short periods, then the additional UAGCs may be remitted on Council receiving proof of their use, including a signed declaration from the property owner (see remission policies). A property owner who actively advertises the flats for accommodation will not qualify for the remission.
  • collect $71m including GST in rates. There's an average overall 3.26 % rise in the rates required from 2019/20 to 2020/21.

The rate increase for 2020/21 was originally to be 4.87% however Council reviewed this and the rates increase was reduced to 3.26% as a result of Covid-19 pandemic notice.

See the 2020/21 Annual Plan for the Funding Impact Statement, on page 57 it gives a breakdown of all the different rates that make up the $71m in our district.

The main changes when compared to last year are:


  • Resource consents:  increased across the district and is based on land value. The demand  for resource consents had increased significantly the rate has increased  in order to meet our legislative requirements and service compliance.
  • Parks Reserves: there is an increase of $9.04 per rating unit compared to 2019/20. *

The increase in the city is higher than 3.26% as the changes were in fixed amount rates.

  • Wastewater -  this was for prefunding of wastewater activity. This rate is on residential and commercial properties in the city and Sponge Bay. The wastewater uniform charge has increased $90 from $349 plus gst in 2019/20 to $439 plus gst
  • Stormwater - there are higher costs for providing stormwater services. There is an increase  of $14.73 plus gst  per rating unit compared to 2019/20 –impacting Gisborne city, Sponge Bay, Okitu.
  • Water- increases $11.89 per connection impacting mainly Gisborne city, Te  Karaka and Whatatutu compared to 2019/20. This was driven by increases cost in providing water reticulation services.*

* increases in costs include changes to insurance and depreciation.


  1. General Rate – the  revenue collected from the general rate which is based on capital value  across the district decreased by $ 1.35m compared to 2019/20
  2. Uniform Annual General Charge:  The UAGC decreases $9.17 compared to 2019/20.  For 2020/21 the UAGC is  $679.36 plus gst.