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Remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land policy

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We are reviewing our policy on the remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land to make it easier for landowners to develop the land for the benefit of themselves, their whanau and their hapū.

We also want to acknowledge the special significance of land to Māori, and the unlikelihood of Māori land being sold, in the way we charge rates on Māori land. 

Tell us what you think

We want to know if you think these proposed changes meet our obligations to recognise the special significance of land to Māori and support the development of land for the benefit of owners and their whānau.

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

We will use this feedback to propose a new remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land policy for adoption by Council.

If required, hearings will be held prior to the final policy being adopted by 1 July 2022.

What is a remissions and postponements policy?

A rates remission is a partial reduction in the rates amount a ratepayer has to pay. A ratepayer may be eligible for rates remission if their property meets certain criteria. This policy provides information on the rates remissions available for Māori freehold land.

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

What is Māori freehold land?

Māori freehold land is land which the Māori Land Court has determined to have the status of Māori freehold land as defined in Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (Māori Land Act).

Closed

Survey has closed

Feedback closed 5pm, Wednesday 18 May

Timeline

  • 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

In a modern context it has two main characteristics which make it unique:

  • Economic value – an interest in Māori land is, like general land, an economic asset that may be used, traded, sold or transferred. Unlike general land, law sets strong rules around ensuring that land stays in the hands of its owners, whānau and the hapū associated with it
  • Cultural value – the law recognises that Māori land is a taonga tuku iho of special significance to Māori passed from generation to generation.

An interest in Māori land is also considered a tangible whakapapa (genealogical) link for owners to their past and present whānau, hapū and iwi, whether they live on or close to the land or not.

Māori freehold land is held by individuals who have shares together as tenants in common. This can make developing Māori freehold land particularly challenging.

Why review the current policy?

Under New Zealand law, we now have to show how our policies on the remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land support the principles in the Preamble to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. These principles remind us of the special significance of land to Māori and to support its development for the benefit of owners and their whānau.

In line with this, we are going to amend our current remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land policy so we can consider the benefits of developing Māori freehold land and to introduce mechanisms that acknowledge the unlikelihood of Māori land being sold. We also want to recognise that western notions of land value may not be the same for Māori.

While Tauranga has provided for rates remission on Māori freehold land for some time, the emphasis was on owners having to comply with criteria rather than assessing what outcomes may be achieved through developing the land. 

We are proposing to offer 100% remission of rates on land subject to development. We believe that offering this level of remission without a time limit better recognises the amount of time it may take to complete a development. Council cannot charge rates on Māori freehold land that is unused. 

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

Rates Postponement Policy

We want to know if we have got the right balance of criteria when considering granting applications for rates postponement.

Draft Rates Postponement Policy

Closed

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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