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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions about rates. 

Monthly direct debit is a good option. You can spread your outstanding balance by direct debit over the next 12 months, as long as you include next year’s balance. Your payments will be reviewed and adjusted each year to ensure that your rates are paid on time and no penalty is incurred.

To set up a monthly direct debit you can sign up online here. If you need a hand, talk to our customer service team on +64 6 835 9200. 

You can also set up an alternative payment arrangement with the rates team, and take care to do this before the due date, so you don’t get a penalty.

We used to send out invoices in September, and people had until 31 January to pay without incurring a penalty.

This year we sent out invoices in August, with a due date of 20 September 2021 and a penalty to be applied on 21 September 2021 to unpaid invoices. Then we went in to lockdown, and in response to this and the pressures on our community, we won’t apply a penalty to unpaid invoices until 1 November 2021.

The reason why we changed the due date to 20 September is because our rating year starts on 1 July and so do the costs to fund our substantial work programmes.

By changing the date, we now have similar invoice payment terms  as other councils, and businesses.

This change benefits our community because it means that we can more securely fund critical work to improve our environment.

  • Rates accounts are due for payment on 20 September each year. You can pay this immediately, set up an automatic payment, or register for direct debit payments.
  • In response to the current Covid situation, we have shifted our penalty date from 21 September to 1 November this  year. At this time, a 10% penalty will be applied to outstanding accounts.
  • Rates are due on 20 September each year. 
  • A penalty of 10% will be added on 1 November on any portion of the current instalment which is outstanding.
  • A further 10% penalty will be added on the first working day after 1 July the following year, to all outstanding rates, including penalties.

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About payments

Rates accounts are due for payment on 20 September each year. You can pay this immediately, set up an automatic payment, or register for direct debit payments.

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) 835 9200.

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.

You can:

  • pay monthly and include this year's rates
  • pay this rates in full, and start a monthly payment plan now for next years rates
  • pay annually on 20th September.

Yes. When Hawke’s Bay is in Alert Level two, you can take your rates invoice with you to pay at any BNZ branch, or at our HBRC Napier office rates counter (cash, EFTPOS, credit card). You only need to give your valuation number as a reference.

You can also can pay with cash or EFTPOS at the Wairoa District Council, Central hawke's Bay District Council offices, Hastings District Council offices and  and Waipukurau Library. 

We don’t have rate payment facilities at our Wairoa, Waipawa or Taradale offices.

NOTE: Cheques have now been discontinued. 

Direct debit is a great option and means you can spread your payments through the year. It’s easy to sign up and only takes five minutes online. Go to hbrc.govt.nz and search #ratesdd.

Internet banking: Always use the valuation number as a reference in all internet payments, along with your surname and address to ensure your payment can be verified.

Credit card: You can pay online on this page.

You must provide your valuation number, surname and property address to the other reference fields.  If you are paying rates for more than one property, then separate transactions are required for each property, in order for the payments to correctly auto-allocate.

If you have moved house within the last year, please ensure that you have updated the payment references in your internet banking records, so that your payment goes to the correct account.

You can set up a direct debit with us to pay your rates, either as a single deduction on 20 September each year, or by monthly instalments which are calculated to clear the balance by the due date.  Under this arrangement, your payments will be reviewed and adjusted each year to ensure that your rates are paid on time, and no penalty is incurred.

You can also set up a regular payments through internet banking, or as an automatic payment through your bank. It is your responsibility to ensure that payments are calculated to clear the full balance by the due date each year. 

If you have a direct debit payment plan, then you will find the direct debit message in the blue box at the bottom of the invoice. You don’t have to pay anything if you have this message on the invoice.

The final date to pay your invoice is 20 September 2021.

Once all payments have been processed, a 10% penalty will be applied to any outstanding balance for the 2021/22 rating year on 1 November 2021.

If you have concerns that you will not be able to clear the full balance, please contact our rates team before the due date for a confidential discussion regarding payment options. 

Yes. You can appeal for one penalty to be removed in a three year period. This must be due to special circumstances.

You need to submit a written application and the outstanding balance needs to be paid in full, unless you have arranged an alternative payment agreement with the rates team.

If you choose not to pay the penalty amount and do not apply for a removal of this penalty – penalty balance will remain on your account, and may be subject to further penalties.

If you have a direct debit payment plan, then you will find the direct debit message in the blue box at the bottom of the invoice. You don’t have to pay anything if you have this message on the invoice.

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 your 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 9200 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 November 2021 on any portion of the current instalment which is outstanding.

A further 10% penalty will be added on the first working day after 1 July 2022 to all outstanding rates, including penalties.

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. 

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 used to send out our rates invoice in September with the final day to pay that year's rates being the following 31 January – four months later. From 2021  your rates invoice will arrive in mid-August and will be 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 our cashflow.

We have significantly accelerated and expanded our work programme to overcome considerable environmental challenges.  To understand our work programme and why we have increased rates, please refer to the rates newsletter that you received with the invoice.

The increase can vary between individual properties depending on which services are provided in your area – for example the public transport service is not available in Wairoa or Central Hawke’s Bay.

You may have made changes to your individual property such as renovations or completing a new dwelling, which impact on how your rates are assessed. If you live in the Napier district your rating calculation may also have been affected by the General Revaluation.

If you own a property in Hawke’s Bay, your rates are split across two councils.

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

Many rates charges such as drainage and flood control are able to be applied geographically.  For example - flood protection activities throughout the region are funded by those properties which are directly impacted, and therefore receive the benefit.

There are other factors funded by Regional Council rates which are for the benefit of the community, and all ratepayers contribute to these – regional  civil defence emergency management, public transport, and our total mobility scheme all fall into this category.  

 

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 9200 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 9200 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. You can also pay your rates at Wairoa District Council offices, Hastings District Council offices, Central Hawke's Bay District Council offices, and Waipukurau library.  You can also sign up to pay by direct debit monthly or annually online here.

Yes. When Hawke’s Bay is in Alert Level two, you can take your rates invoice with you to pay at any BNZ branch, or at our HBRC Napier office rates counter (cash, EFTPOS, credit card). You only need to give your valuation number as a reference.

You can also can pay with cash or EFTPOS at the Wairoa District Council, Central hawke's Bay District Council offices, Hastings District Council offices and  and Waipukurau Library. 

We don’t have rate payment facilities at our Wairoa, Waipawa or Taradale offices.

NOTE: Cheques have now been discontinued. 

If you need to discuss your rates situation, you are welcome to contact our rates team on 835 9200 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. 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.

We manage the region’s natural resources such as water and air quality, land sustainability programmes, as well as coastal, wetland and habitat protection.

Regional programmes such as flood protection, biosecurity, transport planning, regional economic development and regional civil defence emergency management.

Find out more on this page including our animated video explaining in more detail.

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

If you have received an invoice for a property that you no longer own, please contact our Rates team. This is usually a timing issue where the new ownership details were not received before our invoices were printed.

Your local council maintains the information for your property. When you advise them of any changes, our database is automatically updated. 

Rates Invoice

When the invoices are created, a data file is created for printing, and then they need to be processed through the mail system before being dispatched. This takes time because over 70,000 invoices need to be mailed out. 

If you have a direct debit payment plan, then you will find the direct debit message in the blue box at the bottom of the invoice. You don’t have to pay anything if you have this message on the invoice.

If you have a direct debit payment plan, then you will find the direct debit message in the blue box at the bottom of the invoice. You don’t have to pay anything if you have this message on the invoice.

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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