You could get a rates reduction as part of the government's rate rebate scheme, which provides rates assistance to low income earners.

Apply for a low income earners rates rebate

Download and complete a rates rebate application form. 

Take your completed application to our of our service desks along with:

  • a copy of your current rates account
  • relevant information including total income for the tax year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

An incomplete form may not be accepted.

You can also pick up an application form at one of our service centres(external link), libraries, or by calling us on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169. Any service centre staff member can act as a witness for signatures. No appointment is needed.

In 2020/21, the government may pay up to $655 of your rates under the rebate scheme, depending on a combination of your income, the amount of rates you are charged, and the number of dependents you have. 

Your income is based on the most recent tax year (i.e. ending 31 March). It includes your spouse's income but does not include the following:

  • disability allowance
  • cash grants/capital payments
  • war widow’s or war disablement benefits
  • medal or honour payments
  • grants for funeral expenses
  • prizes and winnings
  • family support.

Rating years run from 1 July to the following 30 June each year.  You can apply for a rebate at any time during the rating year, but your rebate cannot be back-dated to previous years.

Even if you already get a rebate, you need to re-apply each year.  We will send you an application form with your first instalment rates invoice in July.  Please allow one week for processing your application prior to your instalment due date.

The rebate gets applied to the current year’s rates. Any outstanding balance from the previous rating year will still be due.

Eligibility

To qualify for a rates rebate:

  • you must be living in the property as at the start of the rating year (1 July), and 
  • your name must be on the rates bill.

Eligibility is based on a calculation, and you may be eligible for some amount even if your income is too high to qualify for a full rebate. The application form has a table showing what level of rebate is available for a range of incomes and rates charges.

To find out if you may qualify, you can visit one of our service desks(external link), phone 0800 800 169, or use the online calculator(external link) at the Department of Internal Affairs website.

A person who has power of attorney is able to apply for the rebate. Documentation demonstrating that the power of attorney covers property and finance needs to be sent with your application.

Any resident who has a residential unit in a retirement village but is not a ratepayer in respect to that unit, and who contribute to the outgoings of the retirement village is now eligible to apply for a rebate. You'll need to complete and include the retirement village declaration form with your application.

More information

You can get more information about getting a rates rebate from the NZ Government(external link) website.