As part of our Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 we have made a number of changes to some of our policies. The main changes are summarised below, together with links to copies of the policies.

These policy changes take effect from 1 July 2021.

Changes to the Significance and Engagement Policy

The Council has made minor changes to its Significance and Engagement Policy. This policy was initially adopted by the Council as part of the Long-Term Plan 2015-2025, and reviewed as part of the Long-Term Plan 2018-2028 process.

All councils are required by the Local Government Act 2002 to adopt a Significance and Engagement Policy, which must set out how they determine the significance of proposals and decisions relating to issues, assets and other matters, and how they will engage and consult with communities on significant matters.

The changes are not substantive and do not alter the intent of the policy. They include removing some non-critical matters and matters of technical detail; and removing matters which are covered elsewhere, for example in legislation or other policies.

View the Significance and Engagement Policy. [PDF, 402 KB]

Change to the Revenue and Financing Policy

The Revenue and Financing Policy sets how the Council uses its various sources of income (including rates, user charges, subsidies and development contributions) to fund its activities. It explains the reasoning behind its choices based on the legal framework established by the Local Government Act 2002. This framework takes account of why the Council provides the service, who benefits from the activity, who creates the need for the activity and the overall impact of its funding approach on the well being of the community.

The Council has made one change to the Revenue and Financing Policy: increasing the proportion of funding for the Building Control activity funded from user charges from ‘medium/high’ to ‘high’. This is from the range 60-79% of costs to the range 80-100%. As a consequence of this, funding required from general rates has fallen from 20-39% to 0-19%.

This change reflects that the majority of benefits from this activity are received by those applying for building consents, whilst still allowing for some funding from general rates to take account of the broader public benefits of this activity. This change also reflects the high level of building work in the district which has increased the scale of the Building Control function, and without this change the activity would require an increasing level of funding from general rates. By way of illustration, the Building Control activity costs about $8.5 million per year and therefore funding each 1% of costs requires income of $85,000.

View the Revenue and Financing Policy. [PDF, 201 KB]

Changes to the Development Contributions Policy

The Development Contributions Policy the amount land developers should pay towards the cost of providing the additional community facilities required to meet the demands of population and economic growth. This includes roads, water systems, wastewater systems, stormwater systems and reserves.

The main changes are:

Expansion of the Eastern Selwyn Sewerage Scheme catchment area (Section 4)

The existing Eastern Selwyn Sewerage Scheme (ESSS) serves the townships of Rolleston, Lincoln, Prebbleton, West Melton and Springston. The existing Ellesmere Sewerage Scheme serves the townships of Leeston, Southbridge and Doyleston. The planned connection of the Ellesmere Sewerage Scheme, as well as the Malvern townships of Darfield and Kirwee, to the ESSS will create the Selwyn Sewerage Scheme.

The total capital cost of the scheme over 30 years is $238 million. This includes:

  • the existing deficit balance on the ESSS development contribution account (this deficit reflects the remaining scheme capacity that will be absorbed into the expanded Selwyn Sewerage Scheme);
  • the staged expansion of the wastewater treatment plant;
  • the construction of pipelines, pump stations and associated works;
  • the purchase of additional land for the expansion of the treatment site; and
  • interest costs.

The total costs will be funded proportionately as follows:

Funding source$mProportion
Development contributions18980%
Government grant104%

The development contribution payable per Household Unit Equivalent within the expanded catchment area will be $5,530 (including GST) in 2021/22. This is lower than the existing development contributions for sewerage for both the existing Ellesmere Sewerage Scheme and the ESSS.

The creation of the Selwyn Sewerage Scheme will also bring benefit to the existing communities of Leeston, Southbridge, Doyleston, Darfield and Kirwee. The proportionate cost of connecting these existing communities equates to 18% of the total scheme cost and will be funded from other sources of revenue including rates and Government grant.

The alternative option to expanding the ESSS catchment area is to have three separate catchment areas; ESSS, Ellesmere and Malvern. The development contributions payable for the three separate catchment areas for 2021/22 compared with the expanded catchment area are set out below.

Catchment areaDevelopment contribution payable - separate
catchment areas 2021/22
$ (including GST)
Development contribution payable - single
catchment areas 2021/22
$ (including GST)
Existing ESSS5,0745,530
Malvern7,684 5,530

Adjustments to the amount payable in respect of other development contributions (Table1)

Development contributions have been adjusted to reflect the Council’s updated assumptions on growth, capital expenditure, interest rates and inflation in its draft Long Term Plan.

Inclusion of an increase in the Household Unit Equivalent for large residential properties (Section 3)

Large residential properties are defined as having four or more bathrooms (including ensuites). The Household Unit Equivalent assessment for these properties would be increased by 0.25 for each bathroom (including ensuites) greater than three. For example, this means a property with five bathrooms would be treated as equivalent to 1.5 Household Unit Equivalents, effectively paying 50% more than a typical residential property.

The aim of this change is to reflect the increased demand placed on community facilities by larger properties that are typically occupied by a larger number of people.

Administrative changes for reserve development contributions (Section 7)

Minor administrative changes have been made to simplify the administration of reserve development contributions. Such contributions can result in complex calculations as they may involve credits for vested reserves and may involve multi-stage subdivisions. The changes are:

  • simplification of the calculation of reserve development contributions payable for multistage subdivisions;
  • clarification of the applicable date for the valuation of land to vest as reserves; and
  • clarification of the proportion of land value available as a credit towards reserve development contributions.

View the Development Contributions Policy [PDF, 8401 KB].

Change to the Rate Remissions Policy including Māori Freehold Land

This policy sets out the remissions available from payment of some rates for certain parties, or in certain circumstances. The policy has been amended to include an additional remission.

Remission on rating units as a result of a pandemic or other similar event

This change provides authority for the Group Manager Organisational Performance to develop a temporary rates penalty remission policy in response to a pandemic or other similar event affecting rating units in the Selwyn District. The nature of the penalty remission will depend on the nature and extent of the event. The reason for the delegation to the Group Manager Organisational Performance is to allow for a quick response at a time when normal Council business practice may be either too slow or disrupted. The remission is limited to penalties and any broader rates remission would require the usual Council and consultation process.

View the Rate Remissions Policy including Māori Freehold Land [PDF, 83 KB]

Rates Postponement Policy

This policy allows ratepayers (usually those aged over 65) to postpone paying their rates by placing a charge over their property. This is similar to a reverse mortgage. The rates will usually be paid when the ratepayer ceases to be the owner of the rating unit. The policy has specific eligibility criteria and is designed so that it does not place additional costs on other ratepayers. The advantage of the policy is that it provides an option to some ratepayers that may otherwise struggle to pay their rates. It is however a big decision to take and the policy therefore requires an applicant to obtain independent advice from an appropriately qualified and trained person before entering into a rates postponement.

View the Rates Postponement Policy [PDF, 77 KB]

Lump Sum Policy

The Lump Sum Policy allows ratepayers to make a lump sum payment rather than pay an annual targeted rate in certain circumstances. This may apply when the Council is providing new infrastructure to a community that will be funded by an annual targeted rate over a number of years. The policy has been in place since 2004.

View the Lump Sum Policy [PDF, 66 KB]