Draft Ratings Policy 2023

This consultation has now closed. We will update this page once a decision has been made.


The Rating Policy Review is a part of our long-term planning process. Our Long-term Plan sets the direction for the next 30 years, outlining priorities, how much it all costs, and where the money might come from. More importantly, through public engagement, it is the community’s chance to have a say on the future of our city. As well as sending us your feedback on these proposals, there are lots of other opportunities to have your say.

Our considerations in this proposal have been made regarding the Local Government Act 2002, sections 101(3)(a) and (b).

The Funding Needs Analysis as part of the review of the Revenue & Financing Policy is separately being consulted upon and can be found here

The Proposal

Undertaking a rating policy review enables elected members and the community to decide on what is a reasonable and appropriate allocation of rates. Ratepayers should have the ability to easily understand the rates they have to pay and be able to plan for rates changes in future years.

The review is not about the size of the rates pie, but how the rates pie will be divided up. The amount of rates to be collected will be considered as part of future budgets. This means that there are those who may pay less and those who may pay more rates because of the review.

Some issues may need to be addressed in greater detail at a later stage due to timing, but in the meantime, we want to let you know what Council's priorities are and ask for your feedback to help guide the more detailed work that is yet to undertaken.

As rates are complex, we are proposing to resolve several issues in the short-term and reach an agreement on them before moving on to other issues in the medium to longer-term.

Below is a summary of the topics we are looking into – some now, and some in the medium and longer-term.

  • Transparency – providing clear information so the rates system is understood, and ratepayers know what they will need to pay. This includes being clear and transparent about the Council’s Rates Remission and Postponement Policy.
  • Rating principles – guiding principles for the Rating Policy to be developed.
  • Uniform Annual General Charge – considering a definition of how this is set.
  • City Development rate – considering a definition of this.
  • Vacant land / derelict buildings – introducing a new differential rate.
  • Target rate for Private Stormwater / Wastewater Pipes – should this targeted rate be removed?
  • Māori land - considering remissions for Māori land (not just Māori freehold land).
  • Significant Natural Areas (SNA’s) – should there be a new remission?
  • Smoothing revaluation impacts – considering options to smooth out the impact of property revaluations.
  • Separately Used or Inhabited Part (SUIP) – defining this to meet Porirua’s characteristics.
  • Home Equity Remission (HER) – considering a postponement policy?
  • Transitional arrangements - to mitigate impacts of revenue and finance policy changes as well as revaluations.
  • Climate Change and new initiatives – fair allocation of costs and benefits and if new rates are required.

Many of these topics are interconnected, and supporting information has been provided to work through some of these complexities.

You can read more about each of our proposals and the detailed supporting information, in the consultation documents.

Consultation Documents

Statement of Proposal - Draft Rating Policy 2023

Submission Form - Rating Policy 2023

Have your say

Key Dates

Want to know more?

When What
20 October 2023 Submissions open
6 November 2023 Drop in session. 11:00am to 1:00pm, City Hub.
13 November 2023 Drop in session. 11:00am to 1:00pm, City Hub.
20 November 2023 Submissions close
30 November 2023 Oral submissions presented to Council and deliberations
14 December 2023 Council adopts the amended Policy

We know that Council finances and rates can be complicated, so this section aims to provides some answers to common questions that tend to come up during rating reviews.

If you’d like to talk to someone about a specific question, or require more information, email [email protected] or call us on (04) 237 5089

A rating policy review is a process for elected members and the community to decide on what is a reasonable and appropriate allocation of rates. The review will look at how the total rates bill is divided up – that is, how the Council determines the proportion each property owner pays. The review will not determine the total amount of rates to be collected or proposed rates increases.

We confirm our budgets and plans later in the Long-term Plan process, and that is what will determine the total we charge to each ratepayer. You will have an opportunity to provide us feedback on those budgets and plans in other engagements of this Long-term Plan.

All ratepayers pay the general rate. It is used in cases where:

  • The community as a whole should pay for a service
  • There is little or no benefit from, or too much cost involved in, funding the activity separately from other ones.
  • Local authorities have access to two types of rating tools that fit this description:
    • a value-based general rate: a rate that is calculated based on the value of your property
    • a uniform annual general charge (or UAGC): a fixed dollar amount irrespective of property value

A targeted rate is set to fund a particular activity or group of activities. It may be applied only to a group of properties for a particular service, to all properties for a set period of time and reason or a mix of these.

Targeted rates are generally set when a council believes:

  • there is some benefit to funding the service separately from others and separately funding it in this way carries little or no transaction cost
  • some categories of ratepayer should not pay the rate or that some categories should pay a different amount to others.

A remission of rates involves the Council permanently foregoing payment of all or part of any rates a ratepayer lawfully owes it. A postponement of rates involves the delaying or deferral of payment of rates until either a specified time or a specified event occurs, such as the death of the ratepayer. All Councils must have a policy on the remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land.

If you want the Council to remit or postpone rates there must be a policy in place. The current Porirua policy can be viewed here

This is a comprehensive review, and we are looking into a wide variety of matters and seeking your feedback. We want to have an open conversation with the Porirua community about what a fair and reasonable allocation of rates should look like. However, we are not proposing to change the differentials for the next financial year due to needing to investigate this further as explained in the Review proposal.

There has been no recent comprehensive consideration by the Council of the basis for setting rates or rates remissions.

Periodically the Council has reviewed aspects of the rating system, for example the differential between commercial and residential rates.

There are likely to have been changes in the ratepayer base since the last comprehensive rating policy review was completed. Completing the rating policy review also provides an opportunity to start thinking about a future Porirua, taking into consideration matters such as the impact of the proposed district plan, the expected growth in Porirua, as well as the impact of the three waters reform.

The Council’s “rating policy” is not a single document but comprises several separate policies and documents including the Revenue and Financing Policy, Rates Remission and Postponement Policy, Funding Impact Statement, and the Rates Resolution. The review will consider all of Council’s rating policies.

If you would like us to engage with you or your community group, please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Rating Policy’. You can also call us on (04) 237 5089

The outcome of the review will be implemented for the 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 financial year.

Have Your Say

This consultation is open for submissions until 20 November 2023.

Have your say using any of the below methods:

Go online

  • The easiest way to have your say is to complete an online submission here.

Write to us

  • You can find copies of this proposal at all Porirua City libraries, at our Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court, Porirua 5022, and also on the public consultation page of our website.

    You can have your say in a number of ways:
    • Download a submission form here
    • Email your submission to: [email protected], with "Draft Ratings Policy 2023” in the subject line.
    • Hand in your submission to our Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court
    • Post your submission to:
      Draft Ratings Policy 2023
      Porirua City Council
      PO Box 50218
      Porirua City 5240
    • Give us a call

If you don’t have access to a computer, please call our contact centre on 04 237 5089 to request that a hardcopy be posted out to you.

Submissions close 20 November 2023.

The hearing will be held on 30 November 2023 (if required).

If you have any questions, or would like a little more information, please email [email protected], with "Draft Ratings Policy 2023” in the subject line.

To support our drive to be as transparent as possible all submissions will be publicly available but without your contact details. If you don’t want your name made public please tick “Withhold my details” on the submission form. Please note you won’t be able to withhold your name if you choose to speak at the hearing or if you are representing an organisation.