23 Jun 2021

Strong feedback from the rural community has prompted Christchurch City Council to drop its proposal to extend the targeted rate for land drainage to all property owners in the district.

The land drainage targeted rate funds the operating costs of the Council’s stormwater drainage and flood protection and control works. At the moment this rate is only paid by ratepayers with properties in the ‘serviced area’ – all the developed land within the district or where there’s a land drainage service.

Most rural ratepayers in Banks Peninsula and northwest of Christchurch do not have to pay the rate.

However, in the Draft Long Term Plan 2021–31 that went out for consultation earlier this year, the Council proposed making all ratepayers contribute to the cost of land drainage work.

“We got very strong feedback from the rural community on this issue during the consultation process, which has resulted in us deciding not to proceed with the proposed change at this time. We need to do more consultation and we need to have another look at how we can charge for land drainage in a fair and equitable way,’’ says Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner, who chairs the Council’s Finance and Performance Committee and represents the Banks Peninsula ward.

Councillors have also decided not to proceed with a proposal that would make not-for-profit community-based organisations with high cash balances no longer eligible for the rates remission they currently get.

“This proposal was intended to help the Council focus its resources on organisations that need the most relief, but we decided that the proposal needs more work to make it fair to not-for-profits, and it will not proceed in 2021/2022,” Deputy Mayor Turner says.

The following targeted rates will go ahead:

  • Central City Business Association targeted rate on business properties in the central city to fund the Council’s annual grant to the Central City Business Association (CCBA). This change means that those who benefit from the activities of the CCBA will cover the cost.
  • Expanding the number of properties considered ‘remote rural’, allowing them to qualify for a lower remote rural rate.
  • Excess water targeted rates for households that use significantly more water than the average. This charge will apply to any household that uses more than 700 litres per day. Find out more.
  • Heritage targeted rate to help fund the restoration of some of the central city’s most treasured heritage buildings – the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, the Old Municipal Chambers (previously known as Our City Ō-Tautahi) and Robert McDougall Art Gallery – and the redevelopment of Canterbury Museum. Read more (link to separate story).
  • Targeted rate specifically for the Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora to provide a $5.5 million capital grant to help complete the remaining restoration work.