Development contributions FAQs

​​Who pays development contributions?


You may be required to pay a development contribution if you do any of the following:
  • Subdivide, cross-lease or unit title a section
  • Construct or increase the gross floor area of commercial, retail or industrial buildings
  • Change business use (for example changing business use from industrial activity to commercial activity)
  • Construct a residential dwelling/s
  • Add any bedrooms to a residential dwelling consented under the 2018/19 Development Contributions Policy or later
  • Make any alterations to a residential dwelling resulting in a self-contained area
  • Lodge a resource consent to legitimise existing activity
  • Apply for a Certificate of Acceptance for work that would have otherwise paid development contributions
When will a development contributions assessment be required?

Please refer in the first instance to the Local Government Act 2002 and section 11 "Stages at which development contributions may be required" in Council's operative Development Contributions Policy.

An initial notification of the assessed development contribution charge is typically provided some time prior to the requirement to pay the development contribution.  The intention of this notification prior to issue of the final invoice is to provide information at the front end of the development process so that the applicant is aware of the scale of development contributions payable for the development prior to invoicing.​

Council may require a development contribution to be made when any of the following milestones arise:

a) a resource consent is granted under the Resource Management Act 1991 for a development within its district
b) a building consent is granted under the Building Act 2004 for building work situated in its district  
c) an authorisation for a service connection is granted.

Council may also require a development contribution to be made when granting a certificate of acceptance under section 98 of the Building Act 2004 if a development contribution would have been required had a building consent been granted for the building work in respect of which the certificate is granted.​

When do I need to pay my development contribution?

Please refer in the first instance to the Local Government Act 2002 and section 12 "Payment of development contributions" in Council's operative Development Contributions Policy.

As outlined above Council may require a development contribution to be made on the granting of a resource consent, building consent, certificate of acceptance and/or authorisation of service connection.

​Pursuant to section 208 of the Local Government Act 2002, if the development contribution charge remains unpaid, Council reserves the right to:
  • withhold a certificate under s224(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991
  • prevent the commencement of a consent under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • withhold a code compliance certificate under section 95 of the Building Act 2004
  • withhold a service connection.
How are development contributions calculated?

Put simply, the contributions are calculated by dividing the cost of growth-related capital expenditure in a specified area by the amount of growth anticipated in that area or across the whole city for citywide growth infrastructure (e.g. the ring road and wastewater plant capacity upgrades). Contributions will vary depending on the Development Contributions Policy applicable at the time the consent was lodged, accompanied by all required information.

What are development contributions used for?

Development contributions are used to help fund new or expanded growth related infrastructure and may only be used to fund the infrastructure for which they were taken. The infrastructure to which development contributions are applied may be planned growth infrastructure or existing infrastructure still providing capacity for growth.

 The contribution is a one-off charge. The subsequent operation and maintenance of such infrastructure is covered by Council through rates and other charges.

 The following are some examples of how the types of new or expanded infrastructure are allocated according to activity. 


​​Activity​Examples of new or expanded infrastructure
​Water​Treatment station, reservoirs, bulk main watermains, strategic pipe upsizes.
​Wastewater​Treatment plant, interceptors, pump stations and upgrades.
​Stormwater​Ponds, erosion control, attenuation, overland flow management, and pipes.
​Reserves​Local parks, sport parks, park improvements, playgrounds, landscaping. 
​Transport​Major and minor arterials, bridges, collector roads, road upgrades.

Why do I have to pay?

The government introduced development contributions to the Local Governm​ent Act 2002 to enable Councils to recover a portion of growth infrastructure costs from developers.

With population growth comes increased demand for infrastructure. Growth in the city cannot be sustained unless we fund a portion of growth related infrastructure through development contributions. The existing population has already made a considerable investment in the current infrastructure. 

​Those initiating new developments benefit from using existing infrastructure and will place additional pressure on it, requiring Council to increase the capacity of that infrastructure or build new infrastructure. It is therefore appropriate that developers contribute towards the cost of Council's growth-related capital expenditure.​


Page reviewed: 01 Jul 2019 1:17pm