Nobody loves getting their rates bill, but rates are an important way that the Council helps fund the essentials that keep Selwyn thriving. A typical residential property in one of the districts larger townships might pay around $3,000 a year in Selwyn rates – that’s roughly equivalent to the cost of a cup of coffee and a sandwich a day. But your rates are working for you 24/7, providing great value for the services that you, your neighbours and communities across the district enjoy, like …

  • 1,000 litres of water supplied for $1.10 a day
  • Wastewater flushed away for $1.50 a day
  • Rubbish, recycling and green waste collected and processed for $1.25 a day
  • 2,600 km of roads maintained in top condition for $1 a day
  • Reserves, playgrounds, community centres, libraries and swimming pools all for about $2 a day

Changes this year

If you’re a Selwyn ratepayer you will notice a few things have changed with your rates for the 2018/19 year. The rates were set by the Council after consultation on the Long-Term Plan, which set out the major projects for the next 10 years, along with the expected costs. Nearly 1,800 people provided feedback on the Plan, either through formal submissions or online feedback.

Overall, the average rate increase per ratepayer is 6%, reflecting the significant expenditure on landmark district projects like the Selwyn Aquatic Centre extension, Rolleston Library and Community Centre and major roading improvements. Actual increases for individual ratepayers will vary based on location, property type and the services you receive, and may be higher or lower than the average.

The biggest change is the introduction of standard district-wide rates for community centres and reserves. This means everyone will now pay towards the cost of these facilities and everyone will pay the same amount. The big advantage of this change is that it will provide the funding to allow us to provide a network of quality facilities that best meet the needs of our community.

Another change is that all ratepayers will now contribute to the cost of the water race network. This recognises that water races are no longer just about providing stock water, but they also contribute to Selwyn’s environment and biodiversity, the aesthetics of our townships and the district’s rural heritage.

In addition there are increases in the General Rate (the part of the bill based on the capital value of the property), water rates and the stormwater rate. The $60 that was being collected for additional transportation costs has been stopped and is now collected through the General Rate (based on capital value rather than being a flat rate).

Rate

What has changed?

Why the change?

Community centres and reserves district wide rates

All residential ratepayers will now pay a standard rate for community centres ($100) and reserves ($125). This includes ratepayers who previously did not pay such rates.

Previously, reserves and community centres/halls were funded through a targeted rate paid by each local community, which had to meet the majority of the costs of their local facility.

This model served the district well, but the district has changed over recent years. The increased population has brought the opportunity to develop a high quality, district-wide network of facilities to meet the needs of all residents. By using the strength of the whole rating base to fund reserves and community centres/halls, rather than relying on each community to fund its local facilities, everyone will benefit.

It means that we can develop larger facilities that will allow for a full range of sports and community activities, as well as help those smaller and older facilities that are in need of improvement, reducing the burden on smaller communities.

McHugh’s Plantation targeted rate

This rate has been discontinued and the costs of McHugh’s Plantation will be funded from the district-wide rate.

The McHugh’s Plantation rate was established to fund the cost of purchasing and maintaining the plantation as a recreational facility for the district. It was set as a district-wide rate and so logically has been absorbed within the new district-wide rate for reserves.

Selwyn District Park targeted rate

This rate has been discontinued and the costs of the District Park will be funded from the district-wide rate.

The Selwyn District Park rate was established to fund the purchase and development of the District Park, to meet future recreation needs. It was set as a district-wide rate and so logically has been absorbed within the new district-wide rate for reserves.

Transportation targeted rate

This rate has been discontinued and the income previously collected through this rate is now collected through the General Rate and Uniform Annual General Charge.

This rate was established to fund roading renewal expenditure required over and above what was subsidised by NZTA. However, NZTA has now agreed to subsidise this work and it has therefore been incorporated into the subsidised roading programme funded by the General Rate.

The impact of this on your rates depends on your property’s capital value as the rate is now largely determined by capital value rather than being a flat $60. Properties with a capital value over $785,000 will pay more under the change, while properties with a capital value of less than $785,000 will pay less.

Water rates

All properties in Selwyn are now on metered or restricted supplies. This means that all ratepayers pay for supply based on the volume water they use. This means everyone now pays the base rate of $235 plus 46c per cubic metre, or restricted supplies pay $168 per unit (this is more or less the same as 46c per cubic metre).

Meters have been installed on almost all properties, so most households will get a separate water bill. We no longer have ‘partially metered supplies’ with a higher base rate and no volumetric charge. Water meters have been shown to reduce water consumption as they link water use to charging – so people who use more water pay more in charges, while properties with lower water use benefit from lower charges.

Water races  – serviced properties

All properties (rating units) serviced by water races now pay a standard rate regardless of the scheme they are in. The standard annual charge is $300 plus $17 per hectare.

We previously had three different approaches for funding water races for the three schemes. We now have a single approach which is consistent with the district wide approach to rating now taken for water, sewerage and stormwater.

The main beneficiaries from this change are serviced properties in Malvern as they pay less per hectare. The Ellesmere (previously $16.16) and Paparua (previously $16.51) properties will pay slightly more, but not substantially.

Smaller serviced properties (lifestyle blocks) will tend to pay more under this system as they pay the $300 annual charge plus $17 per hectare. They would have previously paid a lower minimum/annual charge.

Water races amenity rate

Properties that are not serviced by the water rate network will pay an amenity rate of $20. Properties in some urban areas previously paid an urban water race charge ($14.40 in Malvern and $19.20 in Paparua) so the change for them is modest, but for many properties this is a new rate.

The reason for the change is to recognise that the purpose of the water race network is no longer just about providing stock water – there are also broader community benefits from the network. Irrigation has to a degree changed the need for the network and much of the benefit comes from the network’s contribution to biodiversity, including conservation of some endangered species.  is aesthetically pleasing and is part of the district’s rural heritage.

Refuse

240l bin - increases from $395 to $407

80l bin - increase from $121 to $136.40

This change reflects the increasing costs faced by all councils to collect and dispose of waste.

Stormwater rate

Increase from $85 to $89

This change reflects the increasing costs of operating the stormwater network.

Water rate

Base rate - increase from $226 to $235

Cubic metre charge – increase from $0.44 to $0.46

This change reflects the increasing costs of operating the water supply network.

Swimming pools rate

Zone 1 - increase from $124 to $174

Zone 2 - increase from $87 to $122

Zone 3 - increase from $31 to $43

The increase is to fund the expansion of the Selwyn Aquatic Centre to better cater for demand for both swimming lessons and casual swimming space. Properties in and close to Rolleston pay a higher rate.

General rate

The underlying General Rate increase is 6%.

In addition, the $60 transportation rate has been added into the General Rate. As this is a change from a flat $60 per rating unit to a capital value based charge, properties with a value of <$785,000 will pay less than $60, and those with a higher capital value will pay more than $60.

The General Rate increase is required to fund both the inflation-related increase in costs as well a large projects. The main projects requiring the increased funding are:

* Rolleston town centre roading improvements
* Lincoln town centre improvements including the provision of new car parking
* Seal widening projects including Wards Rd
* Roading improvements around Prebbleton to link to the motorway
* New cycleways
* Expansion of HQ building to accommodate additional staff
* District Plan review – our major 10-year review of planning rules.

In addition there are increases in the General Rate (the part of the bill based on the capital value of the property), water rates and the stormwater rate. The $60 that was being collected for additional transportation costs has been stopped and is now collected through the General Rate (based on capital value rather than being a flat rate).

Find out more about the Long-Term Plan.

Find out more about rates, including the different types of rates and how you can pay.