Calculating rates

Rating valuations (formerly known as Government Valuations) are primarily undertaken to allow the Council to determine a property's rates. Rates are calculated on the land value of all properties in the Nelson City Council rating area and are like a property tax which provides revenue for the Council.

For the current year (2022/23) rates are calculated on the revaluation that took place on 1 September 2021.

In accordance with Section 23(5) of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, see Council's 2022/23 Rating Resolution (Item 7, Council Meeting, 14 June 2022).

More information can be found by doing a Rates Search.

Nelson's rating system

Rating systems are perhaps not the most riveting or contentious issue in town. However, the Council's review of the rating system is still important as it affects all ratepayers. It boils down to making a choice between different ways of working out rates. Either we choose a land value based system, which is the system we have now, or move to a capital value based system. There are pros and cons with both of these systems, meaning there will be different winners and losers.

Here is an overview of some features of the different rating systems.

Land value (current system)

The land value only system tends to be used in cities. It disregards the value of the house or buildings and just uses land value (from the three-yearly valuations) to work out rates. A ratepayer living in a high land value area but with a relatively modest house and limited income is most disadvantaged by this approach. By contrast, someone living in a mansion on a lower value section would love this system.

Capital value system (alternative)

Capital value is usually used by rural councils where land is expensive compared to the value of any buildings. This system reduces the amount paid by people living in high land value areas but in low value buildings. A retired person living on Wakefield Quay in a modest house would love this system.

Rating terminology

Uniform annual general rate = a fixed amount charged to all properties, without regard to the value of each property

Differentials = a percentage adjustment to the rates paid by a group of ratepayers to reflect services which may or may not be used by those ratepayers, therefore the differential can increase OR decrease the amount of rates paid.

Stormwater charges = a fixed charge to recover costs associated with the maintenance and development of stormwater systems

Remission policies = describe which ratepayers are entitled to have all or part of their rates remitted.

A Rating Unit is based on a Certificate of Title

In most cases a rating unit will be the area specified in the Certificate of Title. Exceptions may apply where a significant improvement straddles the boundary of two titles or where the titles are legally required to be sold together.

Contacts for rates enquiries

You can contact Council's Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200, Fax +64 3 546 0392 or e-mail

You can also contact the Council offices which operate a 24 hour, seven days a week phone service on 546 0200.

Nelson City Council
Civic House
PO Box 645
110 Trafalgar Street
Phone 546 0200 (all hours)
Fax: 546 0239