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Rates postponement policy

Rates Postponement Policy

We are reviewing our policy on rates postponement to make it easier for ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship or who have seen their property valuation increase due to rezoning from rural use, to manage their rates payments.

Tell us what you think

We want to know if we have got the right balance of criteria or whether there are other criteria that we should consider when granting applications for rates postponement.

We welcome feedback from 27 April to 18 May. Feedback can be provided through the online form or at info@tauranga.govt.nz (Attention: Policy team).

We will use this feedback to propose a new rates postponement policy for adoption by Council. If required, hearings may be held in May prior to adopting a final policy by 1 July 2022.

What is a rates postponement?

The postponement of rates is a last resort to help ratepayers after all avenues to meet  rates commitments have been exhausted.

Why are we reviewing the policy?

While in general all property owners are required to pay rates, we recognise there may be circumstances where ratepayers may need support to manage their rates payments. 

Feedback from the community has told us the current postponement policy criteria may make it difficult for some ratepayers, particularly those on fixed incomes, to access the postponement scheme. 

We also know that where we rezone properties from a rural to an urban use it may increase the rating valuation of those affected properties. However, it may be some time before those properties receive the benefits of an urban zoning, such as the provision of services. 


Survey has closed

Feedback closed 5pm, Wednesday 18 May


  • Draft policy open for feedback

    27 April to 18 May
  • Analysis of feedback and amendments to policy

    May-June 2022
  • Hearing (if required) and policy adopted

    By July 2022


Document library

Rates Postponement Policy (37kb pdf)
Draft Rates Postponement Policy (156kb pdf)

Key proposed changes to the current policy


Applicants for postponement on the grounds of financial hardship must meet the following criteria:

  • Pay first $1,000 of rates
  • Apply for the Government rates rebate
  • Have a minimum 25% equity in the property
  • Be unable to access support from private sector financial institutions
  • Policy does not specify that postponed rates be for the property the ratepayer is currently residing in.

What we’re proposing

  • Applicants only need to show that they cannot access support from private sector financial institutions and have at least 25% equity in the property. Council will also support ratepayers to access the Government rates rebate scheme before seeking postponement. 
  • We’re suggesting adding a new condition that any application for postponement on the grounds of financial hardship only be for the property the ratepayer is currently residing in.
  • We’re looking to extend this provision to properties recently moved into the Tauranga City Council area through a boundary adjustment as well as those properties that may be moved in future and may be subject to rezoning.


  • Where people are experiencing financial hardship, we want to reduce our criteria to make it easier for people to access postponement. We also acknowledge that the process to apply for the Government rates rebate can be very difficult for some and want to support Tauranga ratepayers to access that scheme.
  • This reduces the risk of someone with multiple properties applying for a postponement for their financial benefit.
  • We recognise that rezoning properties from rural to urban uses may impact the valuation of those properties, but properties may not be able to realise that value for some time.


Related policies out for consultation

Rates Remission Policy

We want to know if we have got the level of rates remission for gold kiwifruit orchards right.

Draft Rates Remission Policy

Remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land policy

We want to know if you think these proposed changes to our policy meet our obligations to recognise the special significance of land to Māori.

Draft Remission and Postponement of Rates on Māori Freehold


Survey has closed

Feedback closed 5pm, Wednesday 18 May

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Ask a question

If you have any questions, or would like a hard copy of the consultation form,
Contact the Policy team (07) 577 7000
Email: info@tauranga.govt.nz (Attention: Policy team).

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