Rates Remission & Postponement on Maori Freehold Land Policy

1.0 Purpose

The Rates Remission and Postponement Policy is to allow for rate remissions and postponements, including on Maori Freehold Land in terms of sections 108 and 109 of the Local Government Act 2002.

2.0 Statutory Requirements

  • Section 102(2)(e) of the Local Government Act 2002 states that Council must adopt a policy on the remission and postponement of rates on Maori freehold land.
  • Section 114 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 allows the Council to remit all or part of the rates on a rating unit if it has adopted a remission policy and is satisfied that the conditions and criteria in the policy are met.
  • Section 115 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 requires the Council to postpone all or part of the rates on a rating unit if it has adopted a postponement policy and is satisfied that the conditions and criteria in the policy are met.
  • Section 108 and Schedule 11 of the Local Government Act 2002 states what the policy must contain.
  • Section 108(4A) of the Local Government Act 2002 states that this policy must be reviewed at least once every 6 years using a consultation process that gives effect to the requirements of section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

3.0 Key Definitions

  • Remitted rates – rates for which the requirement to pay is remitted.
  • Maori Freehold Land – land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by the Maori Land Court by freehold order.
  • Rates Postponement – rates for which the requirement to pay is postponed.

4.0 Rates Remission and Postponement on Maori Freehold Land Policy

Remission of Rates on Maori Freehold Land

This policy aims to ensure the fair and equitable collection of rates from all sectors of the community recognising that certain Maori owned lands have particular conditions, features, ownership structures or other circumstances which make if appropriate to provide relief from rates.

Objectives

The remission of rates on Maori freehold land is to:
i    Recognise situations where there is no occupier or person gaining an economic or financial benefit from the land.
ii   Set aside land that is better set aside for non-use because of its natural features (whenua rahui).
iii  Recognise matters related to the physical accessibility of the land.
iv  Recognise and take account of the presence of wāhi tapu that may affect the use of the land for other purposes.
v   Grant remission for the portion of land not occupied where part only of a block is occupied.
vi  Facilitate the development or use of the land where the Council considers rates based on actual land value make the actual use of the land uneconomic.
vii Recognise and take account of the importance of land in providing economic and infrastructure support for marae and associated papakainga housing.
viii Recognise and take into account the importance of the land for community goals relating to:

  • The preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment.
  • The protection of outstanding natural features.
  • The protection of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitat of indigenous fauna.

Principles

The principles used in establishing this policy on the remission of rates on Maori freehold land are that:
i   As defined in Section 91 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, Maori freehold land is liable for rates in the same manner as if it were general land.
ii  The Council is required to consider whether it should have a policy on rates relief on Maori freehold land.
iii The Council and the community benefit through the efficient collection of rates that are properly payable and the removal of rating debt that is considered non-collectable.
iv  Applications for relief meet the criteria set by the Council.
v  The policy does not provide for the permanent remission or postponement of rates on the property concerned.

Conditions and Criteria

Maori freehold land is defined in the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 as land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by a freehold order issued by the Maori Land Court. Only land that is the subject of such an order may qualify for remission under this policy.

The Council will maintain a register titled the Maori Land Rates Relief Register (the register) for the purpose of recording properties on which it has agreed to remit rates pursuant to this policy. The register will comprise two category lists, these being:
i  The Maori Land General Remissions List.
ii The Maori Land Economic Adjustment Remissions List.

Owners or trustees making application should include the following information in their applications:
i   Details of the property.
ii  The objectives that will be achieved by providing a remission.
iii Documentation that proves the land, which is the subject of the application, is Maori freehold land.

The Council may, at its own discretion, add properties to the lists.

Relief, and the extent thereof, is at the sole discretion of the Council and may be cancelled and reduced at any time.

The Council will review the register annually and may:
i  Add properties that comply.
ii Remove properties where there the circumstances have changed and they no longer comply.

Maori Land General Remissions List

The Council will consider remission of rates on land that comes within the following criteria:
i   The land is unoccupied and no income is derived from the use or occupation of that land, or
ii  The land is better set aside for non-use (whenua rahui) because of its natural features, or is unoccupied, and no income is derived from the use or occupation of that land.
iii The land is inaccessible and is unoccupied.
iv  Only a portion of the land is occupied.

Maori Economic Adjustment Remissions List

The Council will consider remission for land that carries a best potential use value that is significantly in excess of the economic value arising from its actual use.

The remission for land recorded in the Maori Land Economic Adjustment Remissions List will be the difference between the rates as assessed and the rates that would be assessed based on the actual use of the land.

Remissions

100% remission of any rates except targeted rates made for water supply, sewerage disposal or waste management.

Postponement of Rates on Maori Freehold Land

The Council will provide rates postponement on Maori freehold land to all ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

The postponement on rates on Maori freehold land is to facilitate the development and use of the land for economic use where the Council considers utilisation would be uneconomic if full rates were required during the years of development and establishment.

Conditions and Criteria

Maori freehold land is defined in the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 as land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by a freehold order issued by the Maori Land Court. Only land that is subject of such an order may qualify for postponement under this policy.

The Council will consider postponement of rates where previously unoccupied land is subject to clearing, development and commercial use where the Council considers utilisation would be uneconomic if full rates were required during the years of development and establishment.

Application should be made prior to commencement of the development. Applications made after the commencement of the development may be accepted at the discretion of the Council.

Owners or trustees making application should include the following information in their applications:
i   Details of the property.
ii  The objectives that will be achieved by providing postponement.
iii Details of the proposed development.

The Council may also, at its discretion, partially remit rates that are otherwise subject to postponement.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions and postponements which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission and postponements that has been declined.

 Adopted by Council on 23 June 2015