Local authorities raise rates income by 8.3% in Sept quarter from year ago vs CPI inflation of 1.5%. Your view?

Local authorities raise rates income by 8.3% in Sept quarter from year ago vs CPI inflation of 1.5%. Your view?

Local government authorities raised income from rates by 8.3%, or NZ$85.1 million, in the September quarter to NZ$1.113 billion from the same quarter a year ago, figures released by Statistics New Zealand show.

In contrast, the consumers price index rose 1.5% in the quarter from a year earlier, according to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Non-tradable inflation rose 2.5% over the same period.

These figures come after the new Auckland Super City Council voted to start its latest six-month rate setting process at 4.9% in the 2011/12, according to Radio NZ.

The 8.3% rise in rates income came as total local authority operating income rose 5.5% in the September 2010 quarter from the September 2009 quarter to NZ$1.684 billion.

Operating deficit

Seasonally adjusted figures show total operating income fell 2% to NZ$1.721 billion in the September quarter from the June quarter. Investment income fell 61% over the quarter, although Stats NZ warned this included dividends, which were not seasonally adjusted and could be both variable and irregular, resulting in volatile percentage changes.

Seasonally adjusted total operating expenditure of NZ$1.791 billion during the quarter meant local authorities posted a seasonally adjusted operating deficit of NZ$69.8 million in the September quarter from a NZ$19.7 million deficit in the June quarter.

Seasonally adjusted operating expenditure was up 3.7% from a year ago

Unadjusted figures show a deficit of NZ$71.4 million in the September quarter, down from NZ$102.6 million the same quarter a year ago.

Hide disappointed "as a ratepayer"

Meanwhile this afternoon in Parliament, Minister for Local Government Rodney Hide said as an Auckland ratepayer he was disappointed by the council's vote to look to increase rates by 4.9% in the 2011/12 year.

"It’s up to the council not the Minister of Local Government to set the rates," Hide said in response to a comparison of the rates vote to a 3.9% increase flagged in an earlier Auckland planning document he wrote.

The Auditor-General yesterday released her own report on Hide's Auckland planning document, saying:

The planning document shows the indicative trends for rates and borrowings, subject to decisions of the Auckland Council. Rates are forecast to increase by 3.9% in 2011/12, the first year for which Auckland Council will set the rates. This compares with an overall average increase of 6% that the former councils were forecasting for that year in the long-term plans.

In my audit opinion, I highlighted the significant assumption disclosed in the planning document about efficiency savings of $47.7 million annually from 2011/12. The 3.9% rates increase assumes their realisation, although the sources and timing of these savings were yet to be identified in detail at the time of finalising the planning document.

In response to figures today showing local authority rates income up 8.3% from a year ago, and whether this meant his reforms had not worked, Hide said, "We’ve only just passed the legislation, they’ll kick in next time".

Key says it's better than earlier estimates

Prime Minister John Key said the planned 4.9% increase was better than some of the earlier estimates he had been given, "but we are always conscious of rate hikes because New Zealanders are struggling at the moment and that’s the message we’ve given to Auckland Council, as we have to others".

It was now up to the council to set the rates, Key said.

Goff sure Len Brown doing what he can

Meanwhile Labour leader Phil Goff said it was clear what had been promised with the Super City amalgamation hadn't come to pass.

"What’s really disturbing about Auckland is that the latest survey by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce shows the lowest level of business confidence in more than a decade. This country’s economy has stalled and that’s hurting Auckland," Goff said.

Len Brown voted for the 4.9% increase...he’s in the Labour party

"He has picked up a situation of huge debts and huge expenditure commitments. He’s kept that down I’m sure as much as possible. It’s still very high given the pressures on families," Goff said.

"Everybody would rather have seen that been much less. But the transitional costs imposed by the National government and Rodney Hide have been very high on Auckland," he said.

(Updates adds Hide, Key and Goff comments, link to Radio NZ on Auckland rates, income, expenditure, deficit figures)

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


I'm surprised they kept it under 10%!.....legalised theft.

What are you going to do about it Bill E ?

To fund?

Or are they further bloating their salaries??

Or are they further bloating their salaries??

The last time I looked at council 10 year plans they included 4% compounding salary increases (48% over 10 years). On the basis they wanted/needed to be able to attract and retain the best staff.

Who cares the outcome is the same, a transfer of wealth from hard workers and businesses into inefficient  local government, riding the ratepayers into the ground. 

I want my business to be profitable, but hey I guess I pay less tax this way. This has to stop I have farming friends paying 56k - 76k in rates and their businesses are going under, because rates are not bases on earnings, its as destructive as hell and a major incentive tio go somewhere else.

I have some issues with a power company right now and just received an email saying :

Q -  Your daily line charges are $1.54 a day whether power is consumed or not this equates to about $50.00 a month before any consumption and GST. – Qend

Life is getting bloody expensive even without a mortgage - next to rate and petrol increases ($ 2.- +) and the grocery bill yesterday was $ 176.40 and repair of a heating unit was $ 154.- and combined insurance $ 3’445.- p/a and a ¼ rate 1’275.-  and WoF $ 148.-  and montly bank account fee charges $ 10.- not to mention business expenses. Lucky me I have no speeding ticket or late payment penalties.

 I’m an economical person and think the best thing to do is keep quiet - don’t move – just in our own veggie garden. Recession is here again for most of us small  boys and much worse then before -  and watch the big boys - they want your money.

WoF $148, Walter!????  We pay $35 - 40 for them up here.  Plus we can get a Fed Farmers discount - but then I wouldn't imagine you joining them any time soon ;-)

Our Mazda Demio had some issues. 

Walter, is one of your power companies one that pays a dividend back to the government?

Labour is suggesting they would scrap power SOE's dividends in order to provide cheaper power bills.




“I indicated yesterday we’d be looking at not using power bills and dividends to the government from the big power companies as another form of taxation, as it has been used in the past by consecutive governments,” he said.

“Any money that goes to the government as a dividend is solely for the purpose of transmission and generation capacity. It will not be used as a milk cow to raise taxation revenue for government.”

“That obviously has an impact on power bills and power rebates,” he said.

So the lolly scramble starts.....

If the Govn needs $x then it has to get $x, if the SOE's dividends are less then the Govn has to raise taxes elsewhere....someone somewhere pays the difference, or we borrow more and someone somewhere pays it back.

Simple really....


Seems your not the only one complaining about power prices



My rates are up over 10%....


I have part ownership of a property in Nelson:

Rates in 2010/11    $13055

Rates in 2004/5      $7685


The building is exactly the same apart from a new coat of paint.

It would appear the council are onto a good thing.

Silly bugger Roger...you should have known the route to lower rates involved dumping old wrecks on the front weed patch and making a huge burn mark down the side of the building...smashing the letterbox .. spraying hate messages along the neighbours fences and leaving the backyard to revert to scrub....get with the game Roger!...once the councils valuation turkey has driven past...tart the place up again.

Yes, well I think I will just sell it and move the money overseas. Seems a pity though.

Goofy making goofy promises again. Like Labour had 9 friggin years to do just that and they did what...not a bloody thing. Notice the wording.."we'd be looking at".....sod off Goofy.

local councils = your local mafia. Frantically trying to out-beautify our/their own patch to attract the tourists (to their hotels and bars and restaurants) and boost the numbers to all those 'economic impact' surveys following every 'major' event hosted. Granted, for example Wellington is a much more pleasant city (on the whole) to wander around than it used to be a couple of decades back. But it would be prudent if everyone was to slow down a tad, take stock and focus on maintaining what we have rather than eagerly trying to build new and redesign landscapes. That's without delving into the ridiculous waste that goes on in council services.

Yeap well I just had a go at my council..doing an extension only 28Sq meters.They wanted the building consent fees up front.....$3500.00. I asked for what....$1600 for processing fees... rest for site visits...ten in all, I asked what are you processing. No response. My friend down road just finished building a 380 sq meter house fees were  $4250.00..go fiqure? At the end of the build I will ask for a itemised break down per hour of processing fees and see how they get $1600.00.

Other problem I have as becuase I have a old property thye had our Sq meter of existing house wrong (a lot wrong) so now they will adjust there records and up go my rates. Double whammy.

The processing fees are probably to process your request for an itemised list of what your processing fees are...

Serves you bloody well right FCM for doing the build when you could have bought an old bus already converted to sleep the sprogs and ready to park on your section with no thieving council fees...or you could have bought a boat and used that.

If you believe these dudes took account of interest rates ex the Gov in setting rates as all theory dictates - then you should look up to see the sows now freed from their stalls fluttering across the blue sky !

What this country needs is rates being reduced by 10% a year.
This dreadful drain on peoples hard earned money needs to be cut right back. Council bureaucracies and their ever proliferating rules and regulations need to be massively reduced. We don't need hordes of parasitic council employees zipping around in hundreds of immaculate near new councl owned Toyotas telling people what they can and cannot do with their own businesses, property and land. Those people would serve the country better by starting or working in businesses that makes things people actually want to buy and that can be sold overseas.

Every time your area has the 3 yearly revaluation, protest. QV automatically cuts the capital value by 5%. This reduces your rateable amount even if the rates factor is increased by the council.

You can now do better that this by providing QV with their own statistics showing house values declining. There may be pushback asking for a valuation however most QV site valuations are a drive by. A bit of reverse window dressing goes a long way.

Saves you hundreds on the current year and compounds to thousands over the longer term.

QV just determines how the pot is allocated not the amount in the pot.  The council says it needs $X to operate and essentially they get this from rates.  Which they divvy up between rate payers based on QV.  Our property has a QV of $550K and the inlaws rental has a QV of $360K yet our rates are less then $200 difference - both under the same council.

Yes Shorts if your house is higher valued by QV then the portion you are paying is higher. Compounded over time 5% cuts make quite a difference.

If you are not up to your neck to the bank or filling dinner conversation with monopoly house price talk then you can save considerable and compounding rate amounts especially long term.  

I could save 20 x more if I took the bus to work, made my lunch, turned off lights when I wasn't in the room, ate baked beans for dinner, stole toilet paper from work and stopped drinking.

Owch, sounds like a sacrafice. Protesting the revaluation costs nothing, takes no time and is no sacrifice unless you see high valuations / rates bills as status symbols. easy painless way to save with the extra satisfaction that you are not funding council wastage.

If I reduce my share then someone else pays more ultimately.  Best solution is to just charge every property the same amount.  Those scooter bound pensioners in their 2 bedroom units have been getting a free ride for far too long.

.........."  Everyone else in the community is required to " perform " - why not local government too ? " ...................... Aha ha ha de ha haaaaaaaaaaa !!!! ........... Hugh , you're the funniest guy here . That's brilliant , " why not local government too ? " ................ Buddy , you're the Jerry Seinfeld of this web-site .

Cheers man , I really enjoyed the laugh ! ............... hee hee heeeeeeeeeeee !

New Zealand Christmas 2010 - Roger with some really interesting charactors – which one do you thing could be Key – our PM ?

..and who could be the truck driver ?


The short film symbolises our economy in 2010.

25 comments, and nobody has nailed it.

(Make that 24 and a resend by the urban cowboy).

When David Caygill gave us a lecture recently (I've written this but obviously it weren't understood) he was asked "why do our power prices go up?"

He replied "well, essentially when it is time to build a new generation plant, it tends to be the cheapest. Then the next one is the next cheapest, and so on. So every step, the per-kilowatt unit price rises".

He didn't understand what he'd said, being an old Rogernome, but he was just signalling the end of ever-cheaper commodities on the upside of the relevant gaussian, and the entering of the stage where things get ever-more-expensive on the downside.

That's what happens, what we always said would happen mathematically, and I can't for the life of me see why people can't get it.

All things - Health, Education, Roading, Rubbish, Sewerage, Water, Libraries, Power, Food- will get more expensive from here on. (Relative to income, regardless of numbers).

Your rates, and your taxes (especially if they actually covered the real-time cost of the service) and your power-bills will increase relatively to your ability to pay. Indeed, If folk can't see that western society has fallen collectively behind the 8-ball, they need glasses.

Factional touts like Hugh and Kerr and co, are a side issue - the real story is the lack of ability to pay, the scarcity/lowering quality at the margins, and at the base of it all, those things applied to energy. ie Building Inspectors drive further out of town per development, at greater per-litre costs, on roads sequentially more expensively per k, the core parts of which are wearing out faster due to the exponentially increased traffic load.

C'mon guys, it's just maths and logic          :)

This is the natural consequence of Helen Clark's Local Govt Act 2002, giving Councils powers of "general competence" rather than leaving them restricted to core duties to citizens. Every council has established little Quangos for every purpose under the sun, duplicating central govt functions AND each other dozens of times over.

This, when what councils ACTUALLY NEEDED, was to be put through Rogernomics even if it is 25 years after the rest of the economy.

Why O why have Kiwis NOT heard of "taxpayer revolts" and ratepayer revolts and "tea parties"? What a bunch of sheeple we are. How high do rates and other council gouging schemes have to go?

The current recession (I don't believe it has ended - that is pure propaganda and fudged statistics) IS "THE COUNCIL INDUCED RECESSION". The Councils induced it, and the Councils are going to have to let the clamps off the arteries of the economy to end it. It won't end till then.

I had a succinct argument with someone recently who told me that this recession was not the Council recession, it is the Financial System recession. My response to that is as follows. The Financial system is a diversion. What it did, was fool us into thinking that it could power economies all on its own without the rest of us to actually use land and resources. The collateral it used to fool us, was rising house prices - which would not have happened without Councils cutting off supply of affordable land.

Now the Financial system bubble has ended, we need to re-look and re-think. Imagine the Financial system bubble had never happened. Would the "Council induced recession" never have happened? Is the Councils role in the economy irrelevant now, if it ever was, just because the Financial system bubble and crash diverted our attention from it?

Oh for a national leader with the gift that David Lange had, that got him known as "the great communicator". What we've got instead, is "the great soother". "Nothing you believe is wrong, we really can live on the tooth fairy forever, we can have the world's best health and education systems, we can leave our resources in the ground, there is such a thing as a free lunch, actions don't have consequences, nanny state really can kiss anything better, Aunty Helen was a truly great leader, Uncle Michael was a great finance minister, go back to sleep".

Who told you 'the economy' was

a      something important

b      something which could grow exponentially and  indefinitely?


You are living in cuckoo land.


Got some quotes coming from Hide, Key and Goff on the Auckland rates

Forget it Alex..all three are a waste of space.


I admit you have a point.  If the council rates are up %8.3 then I suspect all other government departments are facing similar budget blowouts, I suspect Education,health,police and the others are in the same boat, we dont increase taxes we choose to borrow more as many councils have done and no doubt wish to continue doing, kicking the can down the road.

Im happy to look for long term solutions but Im comfortable its easy for me, I wouldn't want to be an unskilled Kiwi when China has basically taken over low payed jobs, I dont see a chance for us to up skill quicker than China and India can, I can see my accountant,lawyer, optometrist and dentist all coming under pressure from foreign competition.

 I can live a happy life in a small community and it looks like self sufficient communities are where we are heading, Im planting trees for firewood and timber Im getting a boiler for the house, I have good water already. My house faces north Im looking at a solar backup and i could rapidly be self sufficient  but I hoping that this option is along way off and a slim one in my life time.


good idea, I just fear, there will not be enough clout  if there is not an overwhelming majority of people signing up.  And what is the "Ratepayers Party" doing in Auckland? (Yes there is such a thing established here).  

It is really outrageous that Councils just increase....increase...increase....their rates, but everybody else has to live within their means, and these means are shrinking rapidly with all the recent price hikes.

Comment refers to AndrewJ's suggestion  of 4.29 pm


I forgot to add that folk were being urged to build bigger and more complex homes - which needed more inspection visits.......

I needed three inspections, period.

I'm comfortable too, saw it coming a long time ago.

The problem now is that the time-frame is shorter than you think.

This guy has it best :


so it's withing your lifetime.....

expect a reversal as we go back down - more local in local govt, more community focus, more mutual  helping-out. The danger is that we waste the interim time chasing this growth nonsense,

Bartlett might be to theoretical for many people to understand exponential growth.

Easier to grasp and very impressive video about the subject:

"Are Humans Smarter Than Yeast"


The link does not lead directly to the video.

When the Youtube site comes up,  type into the search box: Are humans smarter than yeast

Flying to Thailand is a trivial cost for say expensive dental work at the moment....when jet fuel hits $170US or $200US this will not be the case............most airlines will cease to do business....I certainly wouldnt hold shares in them....they are prime bankrupts in the next few years IMHO especially as ppl are already wiped out by the recession passenger numbers must be well down.

I dont think you can up skill the semi-skilled, they are limited by their IQ in an ever more specialised world, the good news for them is, globalisation is finishing, shipping raw materials to cheap labour pools and shipping finished goods to point of sale only makes sense with cheap energy....once shipping costs double and double again no one will be shipping to cheap labour....and in fact thats happening now.



Hi all, have added in comments from Hide, Key and Goff this afternoon.



They say it's up to the councils Hugh. Couldn't get much more out of them. I asked Hide whether he was disappointed as Local Government Minister and he said I obviously didn't understand how the process worked - it was up to the councils and not him to set rates.

That's their way out of it.



PS. I understand the process btw ;)

Stretch out the rates and reg graph to spot the ski jump...harrhahahaha.

That is more than sad alright. I'm sure Hide's and all other politicians remuneration will (independantly of course) be adjusted at some point to account for their increased cost of living.

And usual story is listing a couple of pet projects that have been put on hold to get the rates increase down, so you should all be thankful, it could have been much worse without our exhaustive scrutiny into our budgets.

What if someone sets a web site up and we all agree to not pay our rates till the end of the financial year, at least that way we get to who's side these politicians are really on, Im on board, especially with regional council rates.

Andrewj, people will be unlikely to participate in a rates revolt - given the power the council's have to charge hefty penalties on late payment of rates charges.


We all pay GST on our rates - a tax on a tax.  The legitimacy of this tax on a tax is a grey area.

If the ratepayer public paid their rates demand but not the GST component - I do not believe the council's would have the authority to charge a late payment penalty - I assume it would become a matter for the IRD to collect the GST.

All one would need to do to answer this question (of late payment penalty charges on the GST component of a rates demand) would be simply to ask a council in writing - as they would have to obtain a legal opinion before answering.

A large national campaign to withhold GST payment on rates would be an effective message to send to central government via local government.... and the benefit to cash flow is significant for many homeowners (15% less to pay). 

I realise this doesn't really matter to farming operations (as GST is claimable) but its the point ... we taxpayers have had enough!




Kate, im sure that if %30 of ratepayers with held payment that the council would do a deal pretty quick on the %10 penalty. While they do have the ability to charge penalties these kick in fairly late and well after the point is made.

Its the massage thats important,' reduce rates or else'.

If you wish to demonstrate ratepayer power (provided that you do actually have solid popular support) there are other less confrontational steps that could be tried first.

Overpaying your rates by say 6 cents costs very little and is only an advance on the next installment, but in volume can sometimes be an accounting nightmare. Asking for refunds could be interesting. The point though is whether or not you can show organisational control of the actions of large numbers of ratepayers.

If you demonstrate you can effectively co-ordinate even trivial financial transactions then you clearly have power, and with no risk of penalties.

6 months back i had to do some work re drainage etc..ended up the issue was on council side of fence. So I invoiced them. They would'nt pay etc (although had written report/photos from contractor) so I added 10 percent late penalty fee to invoice and asked for it to be paid, and they still would'nt, so i added another 10 percent late payment fee, they still would'nt pay..so then I took it off my rates..guess what  a cheque arrived next day in post and a letter asking for me to pay my rates in full please.  A real laugh to get one back.

This sort of stupidity makes me angry. We had an issue where the water mains were being flushed, notice in the letterbox so fine. Get home and flush the outdoor tap and watch all the muck draining away until running clear again. Then, the following day they came back to fix up somebodies toby that they had blown. But did they tell us or the neighbours to flush our outdoor tap again? Nope. So not knowing what's happened, end up with grit all through our system, clogged up mixers, filters, ajax etc. Complained and sent the plumbers bill on which was duly paid. But my biggest issue is that that bill, although reimbursed to us, just gets tacked onto the council spend for the year and hey presto, our rates keep going up?

It's like when Wellington council fined themselves under the RMA for running J'ville landfill without a consent. WTF??

Sore-loser that would be Anar-KEY

Bernard - i reckon you should start a record of what makes up the main news of the day, split between public v private sector. I was always of the view that the public sector stuff would be consigned to the back page ie out of site, out of mind, rates would not change materially year  on year. Conversely the private sector would occupy the front pages and be at the forefront. This definitely isn't the case in NZ and is of major concern. Most big news stories revolve around sum public sector issue.  It started wth Helen Clark and the massive increases in state spending, huge advertising budgets that followed and has not yet been reeled in by a hamstrung Nat. government. The second issue is that NZ state assets are too big, poorly run, and are competing with the private sector all over the show. Frankly government has got too big for its own shoes. 



Looks like there's a key-slapping slippard

At the gates of Solla Sollew.

ie: all is not roses even in Texas.

How can this be?

remind me to keep updating it whenever the urban cowboy hits the resend key......

just mainly sales tax? What's this?

"The property tax is the primary source of local government revenue in Texas and provides funding for the services provided by counties, cities, school districts, and a variety of special entities such as community colleges, port authorities, hospital and flood control districts, and municipal utility districts. While the total combined state and local tax burden in Texas is among the lowest in the nation, the portion of the tax burden borne by property taxpayers in Texas is relatively high".

But that's really beside the point.. Why don't you look at the  trends, ask the whys?

this will look good to you too, right?


You wouldn't see a problem with that at all.

Probably think it was important.

I see it as unattainablt horseshit.

Texas is a small part of a now permanently bankrupt nation, so cherry-picking it wouldn't be valid, anyway. (There's a side debate there, where folk like Hugh blame a housing bubble for the debt , whereas folk like me point out that the need to continue exponential growth was always going to demand the debt at some point, in a finite world it was always going to trip over its shoelaces at unprecedented pace).  . But -  Texas kept it's head further above water than the rest, thanks to screwing a fair percentage of it's populace (3 of the 5 poorest neighbourhoods in the USA are Texan), and, so far, on the back of cheap local energy, as did the USA in the first 70 years of last century, for the same reason. Although Texas crude peaked in 1972, it's still relatively cheal, local energy, but definitely going backwards.

Worse, all that industry is based on that cheap local energy too.  As all wealth ultimately is.

then there's this:


an excerpt:

Overdrafting occurs when water is withdrawn from an aquifer faster than it is recharges. It is a significant problem in Texas. The consequences of overdrafting include progressively higher water costs, land subsidence, water quality degradation and possible water depletion. Overdrafting can also harm springs and in-stream flows.

If overdrafting continues for long, or if the aquifer has limited or little recharge, the process is called mining. Mining has caused land subsidence in the Houston areas and has allowed saline water to intrude on the layers of fresh water near El Paso.

In other words, they're running a short-term, unsustainable junket on the back of depletion of natural resources, dropping off a fair chunk of the population in doing so, whilst absolutely ignoring the mess they're going to hand on to future generations, and infrastructuring on an ad-lib shoestring into the bargain..

In other words, a bunch of cowboys.

You'd be right at home.

For a short while.


I know I will get shot for suggesting this, but I don't think rates are actually very high. Local Councils deliver a lot of sevices and paying say $2k for a house doesn't actually seem that much. Some people get a bit fixated about % increases but 8.3% on $2K is  $166, only about 1-2 days work for a lot of people- and there are discounts are there not for those on a low fixed income.  


should I be getting hold of a still ?

Why not?

Even in their depths of hardship the Russians were still making vodka.....


A Matata resident was most unhappy with the Whakatane District Council and even more unhappy with their response (or lack of) to his queries/issues.  So he organised a petition to have the Rangitaiki Ward moved from Whakatane DC to Kawerau Council.  He eventually got 25% of the voters to sign the petition even though he only needed 10% in order to forward it to Local Government Commission for consideration.

Whakatane stands to lose $9m in rates if the ward becomes part of Kawerau.  Whakatane DC maintain that of the $9m collected from the Ward $2.4m benefits the entire Whakatane community and the loss of this revenue would mean that Whakatane would have to cut back it's activities to cope with this reduction, or increase rates or other charges.

Had the previous Whakatane Council not being so arrogant in it's handling of Rangitaiki ward ratepayers it would never have come to the situation we have now. There is now a real possibility that it could not only lose revenue, but also the ability to expand Whakatane as it is in this ward that areas have been identified as future growth areas for Whakatane.

Those of us who live in the Ward have until later this month to make submissions on it.  It will be most interesting to see where this ends up.

This may be a silly question, but why would you measure the costs increases incurred by a local council with a tool [CPI] that is only looks at the price changes of an urban residential household? Surely you would look to compare the cost increases incurred by a local council with what their rates increase is..... or maybe not. Just compare them to the price of fruit and vege's maybe as it must be Councils main expense right? 

Not sure of many residential households that buy bitumen, concrete pipes etc?

My rates are cheaper than my telecom bill and they only give me a phone line/calls and an internet connection.

My rates are cheaper than my power bill and that only supplies me with power.

My rates give me more services for less money than anything else I can get out there.

Just my thoughts.

Good for you Paul...now start looking at rates through other people's eyes. For some they are a minor cost when set against income totals for those living on the property.....it's a dam sight different when you look at the scene through the eyes of an elderly couple or single person...and even worse when the property they have lived at for decades is swallowed up in a 'Parasite Drive' situation....same couple...same pension...same land....rates burden massive...

This rates eviction forced on the elderly is bloody criminal....made worse by the fact that across town rates on a property that has heaps of income earning bodies in it...are buggerall.

The whole stinking system needs a total rehash.

OZ system, live in house for 25 years and retired, pay no more rates. Compromise, take rates bill on day of retirement and 1/2 it, pay that until you visit god.


Hugh, you got a bit technical, my contention was probably better summed up by Paul.

We get a lot of services for our rates and they are no more than our power bill or phone/internet bill.

Wolly, I would agree that some people who live in very desirable areas in town are getting hit with rates, but a lot of Councils have brought in fixed charges to subsidise those with expensive properties.

As I said, I've not got a popular take on the situation and I didn't expect you and many others on this site would be pleased but I do think we actually don't do to badly with the amount we have to pay. I had a bit of work just done around the home and the tradesmen's bill in a few days came to more than the rates for the whole year!

Exactly as a stand alone figure....

but consider what 8% per annum means every year, in 9 years its going to double.......in 14 years treble.....in 18 years 4 times...

I want to be retired in 18 years....right now the rates is noticable but I have a salary to pay for it....once Im in pension mode in 18 years $600 a month would be difficult to meet.....and eat and pay for power which is also going up at a horrendious rate.....so maybe I wont retire.....um who wants to employ a pensioner when they can get a 20 something for a fraction of the cost and with youth in good health?

NB I fail to see why those who can afford expensive properties are in need of financial help...

My concern is that when I get a1.8% pay increase....(and Im fairly lucky), the rates, public transport costs and other bills are many times that negating any pay increase....I'd like to see the organisations involved explain why they have to raise charges at several times the CPI...and do so because thay have an effective monopoly....a small business with competition and struggling cannot....

and these 8%s are before the cost of energy takes off....ponder the cost increases when energy is twice the price........logically the services by the council have to half....


Thing is, with some other services, you can choose where you buy from, you can even choose not to buy. Rates, how have no choice. You are at the mercy of the rate collectors that they are spending your money efficiently and wisely.

But Wolly, the beauty of the situation is, if you do not own a house, you do not pay rates, but yes you may say your rent will be based on the costs etc, but so is everything...isn't it?

I can buy a box of nails from mitre 10, or have my poo's taken away, water to my house, roads to drive on, libraries to go to, swimming pools to swim in, parks to enjoy, housing provided for elderly, community grants given, xmas/holiday functions organised for my kids, civil defence functions provided for, some to complain to about my neighbour as well as someone to file and record a whole lot of details about my house, services and property that I could not be bothered to do if I had to do it.......for a week. I am not sure that my box of nails will be able to achieve as much for the week.

I could also get about 4-6 min's with a lawyer, or 10-15min with an accountant. If I am lucky maybe an hour with a builder or plumber. An hour for a teacher with my kids? Take my kids to the movies for an hour or so? I could watch Sky for two weeks, so maybe that is a good thing. I could feed my faimly for 2 days maybe?

This whole thing seems crazy, especially peoples views and agressiveness of their responses, but I guess they could say the same about me.

I am glad that my Council does not have to make a profit and pay that money out to some shareholders, or send it overseas etc.

Maybe I am just too young to understand?

No you are spot on.....on this site we have many right wing / libertarian loonies.....in the real world 1000 votes in the last general election.....so their only avenue to spout their nutty ideas is to jump on a soap box in here and rant....

Meanwhile the other 4million kiwis get on with their lives and ignore them....


What are you ranting about now Steven?

The loonies wolly....


N/m.....sunny Blenheim here I come...........


Pleased to see some diverse opinions now on this subject.

Having recently been elected to a medium sized council I have been surprised at the new obligations and impositions(hence cost)placed on council with TAFM added to the local government Act 2002,and more importantly water quality standards throughout the country at levels requiring significant upgrades and monitoring etc.

The social and cultural expectations which were once were central governments field  are now expected to be provided by council,in particular re treaty settlement negotiation implications and requirements.

I would love to just have to worry about roading,water,sewerage,stormwater and aim to reduce rates too.


Giddyup, yes need to have some balance as otherwise can degenerate into a big moan session. And good on you for standing for Council, may be some of the caustic commentators should man up and offer their abilities and insights as well? 

Steven, what I referred to was that some elderly folk are cash poor but asset rich as built their house in prime location which has a high land value for rating.  But as Councils have a lot of fixed charges now they actually don't pay as much relative to the value of their property.

"Hamilton city councillors have admitted they never added up the total cost of the V8s"...A report presented to the city council this week confirmed the event had cost ratepayers $27.4 million, plus event sponsorship...another $4m...The Councillor who chairs the finance and audit committee, said she had never added up all the costs". 


I'll bet she'd have added up the figures if it was her own money that was paying for the event!

 "After less than two months in office, Auckland's elected officials are looking to bump up their pay - with the deputy mayor hoping to get another $40000 a year" harald

Harrrrrrrhahahaha....."other people's money"

So if you are asset rich yet cash poor you should not be taxed/rated as much?

What about those that are asset poor and cash poor?

Therefore if you choose to live in your own home, you pay rates, if you do not want to pay rates, then you rent.

If you can not afford to pay rates you do not own property, much like me not being able to afford a yacht, so I do not buy one.

If your money runs out in NZ, the taxman looks after you and even pays for a rest home to look after you so your family does not need to. Some even manage to hide some money so the taxman will pay for their accomodation still, as he has no right to the money that I earnt over my lifetime.


Councils provide good value for money when compared to other Private Sectors,

If you do not want to pay the tax/rates you can choose not to.

If you run out of money, or can hide it from the taxman, he will pay for your old age.

Every old person will get a few hundred dollars a week even if they pissed their own money against a wall.

There are more elderly to care for and provide footpaths, mobilityscooter access, libraries etc yet less people to pay for it, especially if the old can not pay.

The Councils are required by law to provide housing for the elderly out of the rates.

Costs at Councils are not linked to Urban Residential Cost [CPI] yet are measured against them.

And we hear that the central government has made the Councils do more because it makes the central governments books look better.

SO...that must equal.....Councils are thieving corrupt money grabbing lazy bureaucrats?

hmmmmm.....maybe I am a rocket scientist afterall!!!!