Community queries

We are always happy to hear from you. We welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from all our community members, and endeavour to join the conversation where possible. This page will offer answers to questions which are currently being discussed in the community.

Long-term Plan and rates increases

On 30 June 2021 our Long-term Plan was adopted, and rates set for the coming year - with an average rates increase of 7.65 per cent. This led to lots of conversations in the community about rates, priorities and more.

Here are some of the things that came up, and info on those topics.

How are rates set?

We have a webpage dedicated to this subject, including a link to frequently asked questions. This covers what rates pay for, why rates have increased, the difference between residential, rural and commercial rates and much more.

You can check it out here.

What about property revaluations?

The Council contracts Quotable Value to perform property revaluations every three years. The next revaluation is September 2022.

A few weeks after revaluations you will receive a notice of your rating valuation but it will not be reflected in your Rates Assessment Notice until the following rating year, commencing 1 July 2023.

Does Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing NZ) pay rates?

Yes, all property owners pay rates including government departments and Kāinga Ora.

How much do the Mayor and Councillors and council staff earn?

This is a question that pops up regularly. Information on elected member and staff salaries is included in our Annual Report every year which is also on our website, so you can check that out here if you’re interested. (Hint: salary info begins on page 110).

Why the big investment in infrastructure?

The city is facing real challenges with ageing infrastructure, city growth and future-proofing the city against climate change.

During our Long-term Plan consultation the community told us loud and clear that they value the harbour and want us to fix the broken infrastructure - so that's our priority.

You can read more here.

What about the proposed Cultural Arts Centre?

We consulted about a proposed Cultural Arts Centre in our Long-term Plan consultation and the feedback was that we should focus on essentials, not "nice to haves". We listened, and this one's off the table for now.