Property developers and new home builders add value to our city and help us to grow – but their activities often require us to invest in new infrastructure, recreational facilities and community services.
To help cover the costs of these investments (and relieve other ratepayers from paying for them), we charge:
- ‘development contribution fees’, which go towards paying for growth-related infrastructure such as water, wastewater, stormwater, transport and roading services
- ‘reserves fees’, which go towards expanding our network of parks, reserves, playgrounds and sports grounds.
These fees are one-off charges and separate from rates.
Who pays the fees?
These fees apply to anyone who’s:
- subdividing land and creating new lots, or selling part of a lot (often the backyard) to enable another house to be built
- building another house on a lot that already has one
- building a retail, commercial or industrial (‘non-residential’) building
- expanding the floor area of a non-residential building by more than 10m2
- changing the use of a non-residential building, but only if that change is accompanied by a more intensive use of the building. For example, converting a warehouse to offices means in a significant increase in traffic and water/wastewater use
- using a residential building for non-residential purposes
- altering or adding to an existing house or flat and in doing so creating a separate, self-contained dwelling
- connecting new water, wastewater and stormwater services. This typically applies when someone plans to sublet or sell part of a non-residential building that doesn’t yet have these services.
You won’t have to pay the fee if you’re doing additions or alterations to your home, or if you’ve already paid it as part of the fee for a resource consent.
How are the fees calculated?
The development contribution
For each newly-created residential lot or dwelling, the development contribution depends on which catchment you are in. For further details, please refer to the Development Contributions Policy.
The fee varies for non-residential buildings. It’s calculated according to the new floor area – or extra floor area in the case of an addition – as well as any new (or additional) impermeable surfaces. The calculation is also adjusted according to whether the development is retail, commercial or industrial.
A credit system also applies. For more detail and examples, read the development and reserves contributions information sheet (PDF 61 kb).
The reserves contribution
The reserves contribution fee is to up to 7.5% of the value of a new allotment created by a subdivision (as calculated by a registered valuer), but there's a maximum of $5,000 per new rural lot created and $10,000 per new residential lot created. There’s no cap for non-residential lots.
However, deductions can be made based on:
- the degree to which the land will be used more intensively, resulting in an increased demand for reserves and open space
- the degree to which the land use will change the character of the area and whether that change will be adverse, neutral or beneficial
- whether a development provides for recreational or open space and, if so, the type of space and its suitability for residents and others living or working in the area
- the location of existing reserves and open spaces, and whether they meet the local community’s needs
- the appearance of the land and the trees and plants growing there, and how well it will be preserved after the land has been adapted to its new use
- whether any reserves contributions have been made in the previous 10 years
- the extent of planting or other improvements to the existing and proposed open spaces and reserves, and how well those improvements have been carried out.
When do the payments happen?
The development contribution fee for a subdivision is due when all the work required as part of the subdivision has been completed, and before the developer or builder applies to us for a ‘section 224’ certificate’ (our final approval).
In all other cases, we provide a provisional estimate of the fees with the building consent, and the developer or builder makes the payment before applying for a Code Compliance Certificate (our official confirmation that the building work complies with the Building Act 2004 and the New Zealand Building Code.