10-Year Plan FAQs






What is the 10-Year Plan?

All Councils are legally required to produce a 10-Year Plan and to revise this every three years. The 10-Year Plan sets out the Council's priorities, plans and budget for the coming decade. It includes specific capital projects that will be delivered by Council and sets out how much they will cost and when they will happen. It also sets out levels of service delivery.

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A growing city

We can't opt out of growing the city because the Government has set land supply targets that we must meet. 

The law also says the Council has a role to provide infrastructure that supports a growing city.  We are responsible for the big infrastructure that connects subdivisions up to the city's network, such as treatment plants, water reservoirs, large sewer and water pipes and roads.  We're also responsible for upgrading the city-wide services to absorb the extra load from infill housing.

Relying on private developers to do this work can lead to ad-hoc infrastructure that doesn't link well to the rest of the city and ends up costing us more to fix in the long run. It's also unaffordable for developers to provide some of the infrastructure needed - like a new bridge over the Waikato River. In these situations, the Council provides the infrastructure and the costs are shared by developers (through contributions they pay) and ratepayers.  

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Looking after our assets

Yes, Council staff have calculated the budget needed to look after our existing assets.  This budget is fully funded in the 10-Year Plan and funds set aside to replace existing assets are much higher than previous years. 

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What will my rates be?

You can see what your rates will be here

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Is there any help if I can't afford the rate increase?

Yes. The New Zealand Government has a rates rebate scheme that provides subsidies to low income home owners. This scheme works on a sliding scale and is specific to your usual place of residence on 1 July each year. If you have a household income of less than $42,000 you may be eligible for a rebate depending on the level of your rates and the number of dependants you have. The Government updates the criteria for this scheme each year.

Hamilton also has its own rates rebate scheme that you may also benefit from. The Council provides an option of lower rates for some people. There are criteria you need to meet to access this support – the first of which is you will need to qualify for the government scheme. You can find out more information and whether you are eligible for a rate rebate under the current policy here.

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What is a UAGC and what does it mean?

A Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) is a fixed portion of the rate set the same for every ratepayer. The 10-Year Plan transitions to a UAGC of $500 over three years. This is part of the rates not on top of them.

A UAGC helps smooths out the impact of moving to capital value rating - it takes a bit off rates on high value properties and puts a bit on rates on low value properties. This will make Hamilton rates more comparable with other similar cities in New Zealand. 

The UAGC will be charged on the basis of SUIPs. SUIP stands for Separately Used or Inhabited Part of a rating unit. You can find more detail on this here. That means every dwelling and business will pay a UAGC for each SUIP, so if there are multiple dwellings or businesses on one rates bill they will each pay a UAGC. Most properties only have one SUIP and therefore only pay one UAGC but if you have two SUIPs you will pay two UAGCs.

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How do our rates compare?

We are the second smallest council area in New Zealand and one of the major cities. Our average residential rate is lower than other fast-growing councils in New Zealand and our neighbouring districts. Hamilton serves as a hub for the region by providing transport infrastructure and sporting and cultural facilities such as FMG Stadium, Waikato Museum, Hamilton Gardens which are used by people from outside our rating area.

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Why are we moving from Land Value to Capital Value?

Most councils in New Zealand use a capital value rating system and not a land value based rating system. Under a land value rating system rates are calculated on the value of the land of the property only, whereas a capital value rating system uses the total value of the property – land and buildings combined.

In 2014, the Council decided a rating system based on total value of the property not just the land was more appropriate and resolved to change from a land value to a capital value based rating system under our 10-Year Plan. 

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What is the change to the rural rate?

The 10-Year Plan increases rates on rural properties within the Hamilton boundary, to be on par with residential rates (except for water and wastewater components of rates as rural properties do not receive those services). 

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What are Development Contributions for?

A Development Contribution is a one-off charge on new developments to ensure any development creating additional demand on Council infrastructure contributes to the extra cost that it imposes on the community.

Development Contributions are collected for water supply, wastewater, stormwater, reserves and transport.

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​​​Who would pay if developers don't?

Increasing DCs is a way to have developers pay for their fair share of the cost of growth. If DCs do not increase, the ratepayer will be left to pick up the bill.

The Council does work hard to secure, where possible, outside funding deals including NZ Transport Agency subsidies and the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund to make it more affordable. 

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Where can I find more information about Development Contributions?

For more information on Development Contributions including who pays when, view our Development Contributions page here. You will also find a link to the consultation page for the draft DC Policy there. 

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You can also get in touch on Facebook or send an email 10yearplan@hcc.govt.nz ​​​

Page reviewed: 12 Jul 2018 5:19pm