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Rates FAQs

On this page you can find most of the frequently asked questions about rates - how they are worked out and payment options.

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About payments

Rates accounts are due for payment on 20 September 2020. You can pay this immediately, set up an automatic payment, or register for direct debit payments. No late fees will be applied until 1st February 2021. 

 

 

 

The Regional Council makes it easy for you to pay your rates by the due date using a method that best suits your needs. Find out about paying your rates on this page. Information on Rates Penalties is also on this page.

If you have any questions, please email us at rates@hbrc.govt.nz or call our Rates Office on (06) 8352955.

Yes you can. Direct Debit is the easiest way to set up your payments as you don’t need to adjust your payment amounts each year.

Yes, you can take your rates account with you to pay at any BNZ branch, or at our Napier office rates counter (cash, cheque, EFTPOS, credit card).  You only need to give your valuation number as a reference.  Note that we do not have rate payment facilities at our Wairoa, Waipawa or Taradale offices.

In February, a penalty of 10% on the outstanding balance of the current instalment (ie, the current year's rates) is added to the account.  However we do offer a number of payment options to help you spread your payments, and if you think you will have difficulty paying your rates by that date, please discuss the matter confidentially with our rates team on 835 2955 to avoid unnecessary penalty charges.  Note that from July, a penalty of 10% will be added to the total outstanding amount on any rates bill, not just the current year's instalment.

In 2020 we changed the date that rates were due for payment from 31 October to 20 September. This was in response to feedback from our ratepayers about the financial pressure over the Christmas/summer holiday period. 

Our rating year starts on July 1 each year and so does the cost of funding our core activities.  

Rates are now due on 20 September and the annual direct debit payment will be deducted on 21 September each year. 

We are happy to change your direct debit payments to spread these throughout the year. Find out more on our how to pay page.

If you are in financial difficulty please contact our friendly rates team -  call (06) 835 2955 or  email at rates@hbrc.govt.nz.

 

About your rates

Everyone who owns a property pays regional council rates.

The general rate is calculated on your land value, so the charge varies between ratepayers.  The uniform annual general charge is the same for every property.

The councils have different responsibilities, so you pay for the different services they provide.  Some regions have a unitary council (Auckland, Gisborne, Marlborough) where these functions are combined, but that’s not the case in Hawke’s Bay.

  • Rates for your local city or district council pay for water, sewage, rubbish collection, city facilities such as parks and sports areas, roads and community programmes.
  • Regional Council rates are used for managing natural resources – water, land, air and coast - and other regional functions like transport and civil defence.

Thanks to the income generated from Regional Council investments, including the majority ownership of Napier Port, your rates are automatically reduced each year. This is automatically deducted from you invoice total.

Our property and ownership data comes from city and district councils, and we may not have received the new ownership information before the assessments were printed.

You can use our online database to find out the latest valuation of land and improvements.  Search here by address or valuation.

If you or another property owner registered to receive your rates by email, please check your computer inbox, junk mail and other mailboxes. 

If you changed your postal address recently, your new address details may not have been received in time.  Please contact our the Regional Council rates team on 835 2955 to request a copy of the current assessment, and we can also check that your details are correct.

Rates are due on 20 September each year. 

A penalty of 10% will be added on 1 February 2021, on any outstanding amounts. 

A further 10% penalty will be added on the first working day after 1 July to all outstanding rates, including penalties.

Our rating year starts on July 1 each year and so does the cost of funding our core activities. 

We've also responded to feedback from our ratepayers about the financial pressure over the Christmas/summer holiday period.

 

Each property owner in Hawke's Bay contributes to the work of Hawke's Bay Regional Council through their rates. Our region covers Wairoa, Hastings, Napier, Central Hawke’s Bay and parts of Taupo and Rangitikei districts.

We manage natural resources on your behalf, such as water and air quality, land sustainability programmes, and coastal, wetland and habitat protection. We also manage regional programmes such as flood protection, biosecurity, transport planning, regional economic development and regional civil defence emergency management.

  • Targeted rates - Most of the rates you pay are targeted rates for benefits you gain locally from specific services, such as flood control, pest management and, in Napier and Hastings, public transport and air quality.
  • General rates - These pay for services provided across the entire regions, such as governance and strategic planning.
  • Uniform charges - These are a set fee for specific services, such as civil defence, to all ratepayers.

We were conscious of the significant financial and personal implications of COVID-19 and the drought for families and businesses, and so the Council didn’t increase rates revenue this year – as consulted on in our Annual Plan.

We used to send out our rates invoice in September with the final day to pay this year’s rates being 31 January 2020 – four months later. But this year your rates invoice arrived in August and is due for payment by 20 September.

We changed the due date to lessen payment pressure on ratepayers over the summer holiday period and the start of the school year. Many ratepayers have asked us to make this change and it will help to spread the Regional Council’s cashflow.

This means your rates for the next financial year (1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021) will be due four months earlier than in previous years. Depending on when you pay your rates, you might pay two invoices in the 2020 calendar year. The final date for payment for this year’s 2019-20 rates is by 31 January 2020. Your 2020-21 rates is due by 20 September 2020.

If you have a direct debit set up for Clean Heat/ Sustainable Homes, this payment arrangement stays the same.

In 2020 we changed the date that rates were due for payment from 31 October to 20 September. This was in response to feedback from our ratepayers about the financial pressure over the Christmas/summer holiday period. 

Our rating year starts on July 1 each year and so does the cost of funding our core activities.  

Rates are now due on 20 September and the annual direct debit payment will be deducted on 21 September each year. 

We are happy to change your direct debit payments to spread these throughout the year. Find out more on our how to pay page.

If you are in financial difficulty please contact our friendly rates team -  call (06) 835 2955 or  email at rates@hbrc.govt.nz.

 

Talk to us

If you can't find the answer you're looking for on this page, please give one of our friendly rates team a call on (06) 835 2955 or you can email us at rates@hbrc.govt.nz.

 

If you or another property owner registered to receive your rates by email, please check your computer inbox, junk mail and other mailboxes. 

If you changed your postal address recently, your new address details may not have been received in time.  Please contact our the Regional Council rates team on 835 2955 to request a copy of the current assessment, and we can also check that your details are correct.

You can pay your rates bill at the rates account at our Napier office at 159 Dalton Street, Napier.  Easier still you can pay at any BNZ branch - just take your account with you as the valuation number will be required as your payment reference. Note that we do not have rate payment facilities at our Wairoa, Waipawa or Taradale offices.You can also sign up to pay by direct debit montly or annually online.

Yes, you can take your rates account with you to pay at any BNZ branch, or at our Napier office rates counter (cash, cheque, EFTPOS, credit card).  You only need to give your valuation number as a reference.  Note that we do not have rate payment facilities at our Wairoa, Waipawa or Taradale offices.

If you need to discuss your rates situation, you are welcome to contact our rates team on 835 2955 and the office is open 8 am to 5 pm.  You can also email rates@hbrc.govt.nz to make an appointment.

Rates by email

To sign up to this convenient and eco friendly service simply go to your local council's website (link provided below)

  • Follow the instructions on the web page. When you sign up for your local council rate accounts, your annual regional council rates account will be automatically emailed as well unless you opt out online. You will also get any information newsletters associated with the rates.
  • If you want to continue having your rates posted, you do not need to do anything and we will still post it.

Click on one of the links below to apply for Rates by Email: 

Hastings District Council

Napier City Council

Wairoa District Council

Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Rates spend

You can read our newsletter for information on how your rates will pay for us to achieve better water quality, sustainable land use, healthy biodiversity and sustainable services and infrastructure.  

Ratepayers in Napier and Hastings contribute to a targeted rate on the basis the service is available.  Buses provide transport for everyone, and many people use them who don’t drive, such as the elderly and students.  The bus services are well used by commuters and shoppers - over 645,000  trips in the last year (July 2018 - June 2019), that’s about 54,000 trips every month!

Thanks to the District Health Board, you can use the bus for free for appointments at the Hospital or Napier Health Centre – just show the bus driver your valid appointment card/letter/text.  There are stops right outside both locations.  

Buses help reduce air pollution by having fewer vehicles on the road and ease traffic and parking pressures. As well as the rates, fares and government subsidies fund this service and help keep fares affordable for all.

  • All Napier or Hastings ratepayers contribute towards a programme to monitor and improve air quality.  These areas will benefit from cleaner air quality.
  • If you have received Heat Smart financial assistance for upgrading home heating or insulation then the annual instalment is shown on your assessment, separately from your annual rates.
  • Council also offers financial assistance to help homes in Hawke’s Bay become more sustainable – with solar water heating, better home heating and insulation, water storage and septic tank replacement. This scheme pays for itself and will only be a cost to the ratepayers it benefits.

Everyone in the region pays a standard fee for Civil Defence to help your home and the whole region prepare for and manage in any disaster – like recent floods or a major earthquake. Civil defence emergency management works with other emergency services (Police, Fire) and with agencies such as health, welfare to prepare so you can be safe when the worst happens.

Regional ratepayers in Napier and Hastings have a targeted rate to meet the cost of planning for coastal hazard management. A predicted sea level rise of up to 1.5 metres over the next 100 years will affect our coastline, and require major changes to the protective structures and intervention along our coast, so we will need to pay for the preparation planning.

You won't see a separate line item for 'tourism' on your rates account as this is included in the economic development rate, which is a uniform charge for residents or a charge based on capital value for commercial properties.  Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has reduced funding to Hawke’s Bay Touris, and also is charging commercial properties more and residents less for the economic development rate to more fairly reflect who benefits.

Buying/selling property

When you sell your property, your solicitor will liaise with the Regional Council to pay any outstanding rates as part of the settlement process.  If you have a Direct Debit set up, they will also arrange for this to be cancelled.  

If you purchase another property in Hawke’s Bay, you will need to set up a new Direct Debit on our website.   If you pay by internet banking, please update the Valuation Roll reference in your payment details.  You will also need to re-apply for Rates by Email for your new property. 

Please contact your local council to change any postal or email addresses. Your local council maintains this information on our behalf.

Hastings District Council

Napier City Council

Wairoa District Council

Central Hawke's Bay District Council

More FAQs

Tap water supply is the responsibility of your local city or district council, so you will need to discuss this matter with them.

Sustainable Homes funding is available that you can repay over 10 years through a voluntary targeted rate. This will appear on your rates account. Heatsmart grants or funding is still available for home heating upgrades in Hastings and Napier.  You can find all the information here. 

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