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Highest and lowest council rates in New Zealand revealed -Ratepayers’ Report

Highest rates

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union’s 2019 Ratepayers’ Report, local government league tables available at www.ratepayersreport.nz, reveals the highest and lowest average rates in the country.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says: “The main attraction of Ratepayers’ Report is the league table for average residential rates. This year’s table, which uses a standardised formula to include all residential rates, local taxes, and levies, has a new champion of high rates that will come as little surprise for local ratepayers.”

“Under the stewardship of Mayor Phil Goff, Auckland is now extracting even more in rates, taxes, and levies from the average ratepayer than last year’s highest-rating council, Western Bay of Plenty.”

“It’s not just the large councils that are squeezing ratepayers. Carterton comes in third, justifying its ‘rates resistance’ by charging more than three grand a year.”

“Conversely, last year’s lowest-rating council was Mackenzie District Council, which has now been pipped by Southland District Council. Southland charges around half what Auckland Council does.”

Highest average residential rates:

  1. Auckland City Council: $3,387
  2. Western Bay of Plenty District Council: $3,192
  3. Carterton District Council: $3,133
  4. Manawatu District Council: $3,035
  5. Tasman District Council: $3,006

Lowest average residential rates:

  1. Southland District Council: $1,737
  2. Mackenzie District Council: $1,796
  3. Grey District Council: $1,846
  4. Ashburton District Council: $1,850
  5. Opotiki District Council: $1876

“By calculating and comparing average residential rates the Report arms ratepayers with information during this year’s local elections. It may even motivate some ratepayers to ‘vote with their feet’, injecting talent and wealth into those districts that keep costs down.”

Unitary authorities (Auckland Council, Nelson City Council, Gisborne, Tasman, and Marlborough District Councils) perform the functions of a regional council and therefore can be expected to have higher rates than other territorial authorities.

More about the Report is available here, and specific methodology for calculating average rates is here.


Further stats:

  • Average residential rates (nationwide): $2,370
  • National average rates increase: $92

Highest rates (2017/18):

  1. Auckland: $3387
  2. Western BOP: $3192
  3. Carterton: $3133
  4. Manawatu: $3035
  5. Tasman: $3006
  6. Whakatane: $2905
  7. Porirua: $2877
  8. Waitomo: $2791
  9. Kapiti Coast: $2772
  10. Wellington: $2755

Previous year:

  1. Western BOP: $3163
  2. Auckland: $3136
  3. Tasman: $3053
  4. Nelson: $2883
  5. Carterton: $2844
  6. Waitomo: $2692
  7. Porirua: $2692
  8. Manawatu: $2670
  9. Whakatane: $2600
  10. Thames-Coromandel: $2567 

Lowest rates (2017/18):

  1. Southland: $1737
  2. Mackenzie: $1796
  3. Grey: $1846
  4. Ashburton: $1850
  5. Opotiki: $1876
  6. Wairoa: $1880
  7. South Waikato: $1887
  8. Hurunui: $1947
  9. Kawerau: $2002 
  10. Whangarei: $2060

Previous year:

  1. Mackenzie: $1593
  2. Ashburton: $1647
  3. Southland: $1669
  4. Grey: $1762
  5. Wairoa: $1779
  6. South Waikato: $1780
  7. Hurunui: $1863
  8. Kawerau: $1943
  9. Invercargill: $1991
  10. Dunedin: $1994

Failed to supply data:

  1. Buller
  2. Waikato
  3. Westland

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