Public invited to have their say on proposed rates increase

Published on 20 March 2023

A young family picnic at the river with their dog.

Like the rest of the country, Palmerston North City Council is feeling the effects of the current global recession and cost of living increases. Mayor Grant Smith says these pressures mean there is little room to manoeuvre in setting this year’s budget. 

“Riding out a couple of tough financial years has seen us again looking at every service, programme and project on our books to find areas where spending can be reduced, or we can defer non-essential work. As a result, Council is proposing a rate rise of 6.4% in total rates, which is below the 8.3% rise signalled in Council’s long-term plan."  

The proposal will now go out for public consultation.  

We have some challenges 

Mayor Smith says there are a number of economic factors affecting Council’s ability to deliver services and projects without spending more. A significant portion of the proposed rate rise is from fixed cost payments that Council has no control over.  

“Inflation in New Zealand has been climbing steadily over the last financial year. Just as you’ll have noticed a rise in the price of everyday things at home like groceries, we too are having to pay more to get the same amount of work done. And, like the rising repayments you may be facing on your loans, the interest on our Council debts has also increased.”  

He says insurance and power are other unavoidable costs that have risen significantly across the country and affect Council.  

“Having comprehensive insurance on Palmerston North’s valuable infrastructure is critical, as recent cyclone damage in other regions and cities has made clear. Price rises in electricity mean the power bill for all our operations has also gone up.” 

We want to hear from you 

Mayor Smith says he and the other elected members understand the pressures many of our residents are currently facing, whether in the household, a commercial business or working on the land. 

“We know getting through this stormy year will have a bigger impact on some more than others. With this in mind we’ll continue to provide the services our people rely on and to partner with community organisations also providing services and assistance to our people.

“We’ve made some tough calls on where to cut or put off spending for now. To make our final decisions we need your feedback, so please have a look at the Annual Budget consultation page on our website and fill in the form to let us know what you think.”  

To check what your new rates total will be, use our property and rates search

For more information, we’re sending out information to each home or you can read our consultation document and have your say on our website or at our Customer Service Centre or at one of our libraries.

You can also come along and talk to us:

  • Monday 3 April, 11am to 12pm, Customer Service Centre
  • Tuesday 11 April, 3.30pm to 5pm, Ashhurst Library
  • Saturday 15 April, 10.30am to 11.30am, Central Library

Submissions close on 21 April, and hearings will occur mid-May. Following that elected members will discuss any changes as a result of feedback and on 28 June will adopt the final budget.