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Property, rates, and consents


Your rates contribute to the creation, maintenance, replacement and management of the public infrastructure and services across the district.


Your rates contribute to the creation, maintenance, replacement and management of the public infrastructure and services across the district.

Council collects general rates and targeted rates.

You can find out more about how council sets rates and rates differentials in our Rating Policy and the current year’s rates in the Rates Resolution

General rates

The general rate and uniform annual general charge fund part of the following activities: democracy, corporate services, inspections and compliance, resource management, emergency management, animal control, community development and assistance, library, museum, public toilets, land and buildings, cemeteries, transportation and solid waste.

General Rate: A general rate is set and assessed on the capital value of all rateable land in the district.

The general rate is set differentially based on the location of the land and use to which the land is put.

The differential categories are: Residential, Rural Residential, Commercial and Rural.  The definitions of each category and differential factors are in the Rating Policy.

Uniform Annual General Charge: This is a fixed amount per rating unit and is the same for each rateable unit. The charge is currently set at 17.5% of the general rate collected for each property.

Targeted rates

Council charges targeted rates to communities and for certain activities where the benefit of the rates is different in each part, or not shared by the whole of the district. More information about the targeted rates is in the Comprehensive Funding Impact Statement in our Long Term Plan and Annual Reports.

·   Kumara Community Rate

·   Hokitika Community Rate

·   Ross Community Rate

·   Harihari Community Rate

·   Whataroa Community Rate

·   Franz Josef Glacier Community Rate

·   Fox Glacier Community Rate

·   Haast Community Rate

·   Bruce Bay Community Rate

·   Kokatahi / Kowhitirangi Special Targeted Rates

·   Water rates

·   Metered Water Rates

·   Sewerage Rates

·   Refuse Collection Rates

·   Tourism Promotion Rate

·   Hokitika Area Promotions Rate

·   Kaniere Sewerage Capital Contribution Rate

·   Hannah’s Clearing Water Supply Capital Repayment Rate

·   Emergency Management Contingency Fund Rate


Rates notices are sent out to ratepayers quarterly and rates must be paid by the due date:

First quarter

20 August

Second quarter

20 November

Third quarter

20 February

Fourth quarter

20 May

You could be entitled to a 2.5% discount by paying your full year’s rates by 20 August.

We offer a range of payment options and are always willing to discuss the needs of our customers.

Ways to pay

  • Pay your rates online
  • At the Customer Service counter – cash and eftpos
  • Automatic payments through online banking
  • Agreed payment plan

Westland District Council bank account number:

  •   03 0850 0110046 000 (use your 10 digit valuation number as a reference)

Early payment of rates

How to receive a 2.5% discount on your rates:

  •   Pay your year’s rates in full, and
  •   Pay any outstanding rates and penalties from prior years
  •   Pay by the due date for the first payment on 20 August 

The discount of 2.5% is calculated on total rates assessed less adjustments and remissions.

Use the Rates Direct Debit payment option to ensure you pay your rates by the payment due date. Direct Debit grants limited authority to the Council to debit your bank account on the due dates.

Rates Direct Debit is the Council's preferred payment option and helps you avoid penalties and late fees.

Direct debit payment options

  • Weekly Payments are made every Thursday
  • Fortnightly payments are made every second Thursday
  • Monthly payments are made on the 20th of every month.
  • Quarterly payments are made on the due date of the installment.
  • Annual Payment is made on the due date of the first installment

How to join Rates Direct Debit

Apply online here 

When you join the Rates Direct Debit system you will receive a letter confirming your bank account details, commencement date and frequency of your payments. Your rates instalment notice will inform you of the amounts and due dates for the payment of rates.

On payment days, the money you owe will be automatically paid out of your bank account. All transactions will show up on your regular bank account statement. The Council will amend the amounts debited from your account each year without further action on your part. You will be notified of all changes in advance.

To make changes to your direct debit

Once set up on direct debit this can be altered by contacting us. If you want to:

Change bank account details

When changing bank accounts, a new direct debit form needs to be completed, signed and sent to us for action. We need this form no later than four working days before the payment is due.

If the only detail being changed is the suffix, you may e-mail your new account details to us without completing a new form.

Cancel a direct debit

Contact us no later than four working days before the payment is due.

Stop one direct debit and transfer to a new property (buying and selling a property)

If the bank account details are the same as the existing direct debit we can transfer the direct debit to a new property.

Add a new property to an existing direct debit

If the bank account details are the same as the existing direct debit we can add a new property to this.

Change the frequency of your Direct Debit

Contact us and we can amend this for you.

Any ratepayer is entitled under Section 28C of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 to request that their name and / or postal address be withheld from the publicly available Rating Information Database.

If you would like your details to be withheld please complete and return the form below to or post to Westland District Council, 36 Weld Street, Private Bag 704, Hokitka 7842.

Commercial rates criteria

  • You will be charged a commercial rate if you let out a separate area of your property on a short-term basis through an online peer-to-peer accommodation website, such as Bookabach, or Airbnb; or through travel agents.
  • You will be charge a commercial rate  if a business is operating within a residential or rural zone.

A differentiated general rate is applied based on the use of the rating unit. The Commercial rates you pay will be an apportionment of the commercial use and will depend on:

  • Proof of the apportionment such as an Accountants letter. This letter needs to state the percentage claimed as business use in your tax return.

If we identify your property as being used for commercial purposes

We will contact you to give you the opportunity to declare your activity. If we do not receive a declaration from you within the timeframe provided, we assess your property rates as follows:

  • Holiday homes and secondary homes used for short term accommodation: 100% commercial
  • Primary dwelling offering a room/rooms for short-term accommodation: 50% commercial
  • Primary dwelling used as a base to operate a business: 50% commercial
  • Operating a business: 100% commercial

For more detailed information on how we categorise commercial activities, please refer to the Council procedure.

Rates rebate

The Council can give out rates rebates on behalf of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). This subsidy is targeted at low-income earners to assist them with the cost of their rates.

If you have a low income and pay the rates on your home, you could get a rebate or reduction of up to $750 (2023/2024 year). Rates rebates are administered by local councils and paid for by central government.

Please visit the DIA website for information on what the requirements are and how to apply. Our Rates Officer is happy to assist with these applications.

Council has rates remission and postponement policies for some rating treatments to assist certain ratepayers and facilitate provision of services. See our Rates Remission Policy and Rates Postponement Policy for remission criteria.

  •   Remission of penalties
  •   Remission for community, sporting and other organisations
  •   Remission of Wastewater Charges to Schools
  •   Remission on New Subdivisions
  •   Remission on Contiguous land being acquired through adverse possession
  •   Remission of Uniform Charges of Non-Contiguous Rating Units Owned by the Same Ratepayer
  •   Remission and Postponement of Rates on Maori Freehold Land
  • Postponement for Extreme Financial Hardship

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, section 20 Rating units in common ownership states that:

Two or more rating units must be treated as 1 unit for setting a rate if those units are:

  1. owned by the same person or persons; and
  2. used jointly as a single unit; and
  3. contiguous or separated only by a road, railway, drain, water race, river, or stream.

This means that if you own two (or more) sections that are adjacent you are able to claim a contiguous rating treatment on some of the rates that those properties attract.

Please note that the Contiguous Rating treatment is only available on specific rates, such as the UAGC and community rates. This contiguous rating treatment does not affect the general rate.

Application forms for rates remissions for community groups and non-contiguous rating units, and for contiguous rating treatment can be found here:

Please complete and return the form to or post to Westland District Council, 36 Weld Street, Private Bag 704, Hokitka 7842

For all other remission types and postponements, please contact the rates officer:  03 756 9036, or email: