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Rate remissions

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Rate remissions

Council has some policies which, in specific cases, may reduce or remit all or part of your rates.  Applications for remission must be made on the correct remission form.

For the criteria and conditions of the following rate remissions - see Rating Remission and Postponement Policies as part of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan

Community, sporting and other organisations

Applies to land occupied by a Not-for-Profit organisation, which is used mainly used for sporting, recreation or community purposes.  The policy does not apply to organisations operated for private pecuniary profit, or which charge fees of any kind (membership subscriptions are not regarded as fees). The purpose of granting rates remission to an organisation is to:

  • assist the organisation's survival
  • make membership of the organisation more accessible to the general public, particularly disadvantaged groups.  These include children, youth, young families, aged people and economically disadvantaged people 

Building consent refusal

This remission applies if we don't allow you to build on your property.  To provide rates relief on residential and lifestyle sections that may not be built upon.

Very low value properties

If you're a ratepayer of multiple properties in the Gisborne district you may apply for remission for the property where the capital value is less than $6,001 on all of part of the UAGC, leaving you with one UAGC charge in total. The remission must be renewed after 5 years.

Natural heritage and cultural heritage

We will grant rating remissions for land that has a natural heritage covenant in place or identified cultural heritage areas.
Natural Heritage Area - means protection management areas and areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna with the district which are voluntarily protected in a manner ensuring the long-term protection of natural heritage values contained within the.
Cultural Heritage - in the context of this policy means the historical, archaeological, traditional or other special cultural significance associated with human activity.

Permanent crops

All horticultural blocks, no matter where they are located in the district, are automatically eligible for a partial rates remission if the value of the permanent crops is included in the valuation of the rating unit.
To maintain relativity in the rates paid between horticulturists who grow permanent crops and those who grow annual crops, for general rates and targeted rates calculated under capital rating criteria.

General land in exceptional circumstances

To provide a mechanism for postponement or remission of rates where some event has occurred which makes the collection of rates impractical, impossible or unreasonable.
Where land has become unusable or uneconomic because of severe erosion, land formation changes such as slips or any other unpredictable event; or where ownership has become indeterminent or uneconomic (such as when a club becomes defunct and it being inadvisable to leave the rates as a charge until the title).


Remission of penalties will be considered where payment has been late due to significant family disruption.
The objective of the remission policy is to enable Council to act fairly and reasonably in its consideration of rates, which Council has not received by the date set for penalty imposition, due to circumstances outside the ratepayer's control.

Penalties suppression

Council will allow penalties not to be charged if there's an agreement to pay the full amount of rates owing by regular payments or as agreed arrangement, by the end of the current rating year and the agreement terms are kept-to by the ratepayer.

UAGC and certain targeted rates (contiguity)

In certain circumstances we will consider the remission of UAGC on nearby properties used for a common purpose.
To provide relief to ratepayers and owners of Māori land who occupy several near-adjacent rating units, but which do not meet the criteria of Section 20 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.
For application form

UAGC and certain targeted rates (contiguity subdivision)

To provide relief to ratepayers who occupy several near-adjacent rating units, but which do not meet the criteria for contiguity under Section 20 of the Act.  To encourage subdivision development in urban areas.

Land affected by plan changes

To observe existing use rights of land affected by zoning changes when there is a plan change which reclassifies that land into a different rating bracket.

Multiple rural land properties

If you own a rural property with several dwellings on, you pay a UAGC for every dwelling. You can apply for a remission of the UAGC charge on dwellings where:

  • there are multiple dwellings recorded but they are not used as dwellings
  • where multiple dwellings are used by dependant family members or caregivers
  • dwellings are uninhabitable
  • dwellings are vacant for at least 3 months and generate no income
  • an employee is required to live in the dwelling because it is essential to the running of the business

To apply you must sign a declaration. A remission may be granted for up to 3 years.
For application form

Multiple residential and lifestyle properties

Where a property contains several dwellings including units, flats, apartments or self-contained sleeping accommodation, you can apply for a remission of the UAGC charge and/or pan charges, water rates or refuse collection rates.

The remission will apply where:

  • there are multiple dwellings recorded but they are not used as dwellings
  • where multiple dwellings are used by dependent or non-paying family members or caregivers
  • in certain instances accommodation on the same property as a business where the dwelling is essential to the running of the business, such as motels.

For application form

Fragmented or uneconomic rural land

To recognise special circumstances pertaining to coastal rural land used for grazing purposes. The primary use of the property must be pastoral farming and its economic value must be significantly less than the value assessed by the rating valuation. To recognise special circumstances pertaining to situations where multiple coastal rural properties are effectively used as one farm property.

Extreme financial circumstances / hardship

We will consider remitting or postponing rates in certain conditions of severe hardship.  Even if rates are postponed, as a general rule you will be required to pay $500 of the rate account.

Māori freehold land - Whenua Rahui policy

In remitting or postponing rates and penalties with respect to Māori freehold land which:

♦ Has fragmented ownership - ownership varies in number and individual share proportions. Owners are scattered throughout the country and at times worldwide.
♦ Has unsecured legal title - land that does not meet the test of s92 of the Local Government Act.
♦ Is isolated and marginal in quality.
♦ Has no management or operating structures - land has no management structures in place to administer matters.

Māori landowners can apply to have their lands entered on the Whenua Rahui Register.

If accepted, the land will be ‘retired’ from rates for a term specified by Council, with a maximum term being 3 years. While lands are ‘retired’ or ‘parked up’, the onus is on the owners to ensure that no one breaches the conditions by using the land.
For Whenua Rahui application form

Māori freehold land (general)

This policy applies to Māori land which is not eligible for the Whenua Rahui Policy where collection of rates debt has become impractical or uneconomic to collect.

Rate remission forms 

If you would like to apply for a remission, but not sure which form to fill in, contact customer services.

Remission of Rates [PDF, 71 KB]
For community, sporting and other organisations

Reduction or Cancellation of Uniform Annual General Charge [PDF, 151 KB]
For contiguity, contiguity subdivision and very low value properties

Remission of Rates [PDF, 130 KB]
For remission of Uniform Annual General Charge and certain targeted rates on multiple residential, lifestyle properties and rural land properties.

Postponement of Rates [PDF, 220 KB]
Remission of rates - extreme financial circumstances/hardship

Whenua Rahui Register [PDF, 147 KB]  
Remitting or postponing rates and penalties with respect to Maori Freehold Land

Rating Remission and Postponement Policies 

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