COVID-19 novel coronavirus

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1. How is Council responding to COVID-19?

Updated 9 June 2020:

The country is now in COVID-19 Alert Level 1 recovery mode and Council services are returning to normal. We encourage customers visiting our Service Centres, Libraries and i-SITEs to use the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing that will be on display.

 

Ministry of Health and Central Government resources

For updates, information and advice on COVID-19 from the Ministry of Health (MOH) go their website by clicking the green button below:

Go to MOH website

 

 Go to the Government's offical COVID-19 website by clicking the green button below:

Go to Government Covid-19 website

 

 

2. Community testing centres

The Northland District Health Board (NDHB) has organised community testing centres across the region that people with symptoms can go to for testing (taking the load off medical practices and hospitals).

Go to NDHB wesbite

 

3. Ways to pay council remotely

Updated 29 April 2020:

 This page details ways you can make payments for non-rates or water invoices without having to come into one of our service centres. For rates and water invoice payments click hereWe understand you may need to pay for other services, like licences and building consents.

 

Online/Direct credit

For pensioner housing accounts:

Account Name: Far North District Council
Bank: ASB Bank, Corporate Branch, Auckland
Account Number: 12-3244-0022509-03

For any other payments, e.g. dog registration or parking infringements:

Account Name: Far North District Council
Bank: ASB Bank, Corporate Branch, Auckland
Account Number: 12-3244-0022509-00

For dog registrations and parking infringements, use the registration or infringement number. For all other accounts, please use the customer number provided on the statement


International Money Transfers

Account Name: Far North District Council
Bank: ASB Bank, Corporate Branch, Auckland
Account Number: 12-3244-0022509-00
ASB Swift Code: ASBBNZ2A


By post

Send any cheques to Private Bag 752, Kaikohe, 0440.



By phone

  • You can pay Council over the phone with a credit/debit card for any of our services. You will need a credit card number, expiry date, and 3-digit security code. Please ensure you have your invoice number available when you call us.
  • You can also phone your bank and ask them to process the payment for you.


 

 

4. Media releases

Contact us

If you can not find an answer to your question at the Council Services or Council Facilities links on this page, please fill in the form below and a member of our contact centre team will be in touch with you soon.

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5. Rates relief information

Updated 19 June 2020:

The fourth instalment for the 2019/20 rating year was due on 20 May 2020. We know some ratepayers are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and the drought, so are allowing ratepayers to defer payment of rates for up to six months (two instalments) provided they meet eligibility criteria.  This offer applies to commercial tenants who do not own their business premises and pay rates on behalf of landlords.  We encourage these tenants to ask their landlords to add them to their rating account, so our staff can discuss rates relief options with them.  Other payment options include:

  • Spreading payments equally over the instalment period or beyond
  • Increasing the frequency of a direct debit to make smaller more regular payments
  • Reducing the amount of your direct debit temporarily until your situation improves.
  • Removing penalties on payment arrears.

 

Before you apply

Before applying to adjust your rates payments, please check other assistance options. You may be eligible for:

 

How to apply

  • If you would still like to apply for rates relief from FNDC, please read the criteria below:

         For resident/owners

    • Proof you live at the property you are paying rates for AND
    • Confirmation from your bank of your mortgage holiday OR
    • Copy of the letter from your employer of wage payment under the government support package OR
    • Copy of the letter that your employment has been terminated.


      For commercial property owners

    • Supporting documentation of a 30 per cent loss of income OR
    • Confirmation of qualification of the government support package OR
    • Confirmation from your bank of your mortgage holiday.

Our Debt Management team will work out a payment plan for the next six months or the next two instalments to avoid incurring penalties. They will take into account the balance owed on the account and your financial situation to help you manage your finances and quickly repay any balance owed once your financial situation improves.

 How to apply

Email us at askus@fndc.govt.nz or call 0800 920 029 if you would like to discuss payment options – we want to help.


FAQ's

What help is there for ratepayers impacted by COVID-19?

The Council has adopted relief measure that allow you to delay payment of your rates for up to six months if you meet eligibility criteria. We are also supporting the delivery of food, water and medicine to people in need as part of Northland’s emergency management response to COVID-19 and the drought. Please note, the assistance we are offering is an interim measure until we have a clearer understanding of COVID-19’s impact on Council finances and the economy. We anticipate further central government direction and support for councils over the coming months. You may also be eligible for an accommodation supplement from Work and Income. This is a non-taxable, weekly payment you can use to pay your rates. You can get more information about this by phoning the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009. Please call us if you would like more information about rates relief. We are here to help.

 

Why doesn’t the Council waive 2019/20 rates?

We need to ensure that we are able to fund essential services that employ local people and support our communities. If we reduce rates, we put vital services, jobs and our economy at risk. This balancing act is a challenge all councils face. We are collectively looking at funding options with central government through Local Government New Zealand, so we can keep growing our district and serving our communities. It should also be noted that we are bound by legislation and cannot simply waive rates that have already been adopted through a statutory process. We haven’t set rates for 2020/21 yet, but we will consider affordability before we adopt our Annual Plan 2020/21. We know some people are struggling financially and we will do our best to deliver relief. 

 

What impact will COVID-19 have on Council finances?

It is too early to accurately forecast the impact an economic downturn will have on Council finances. A lot will depend on when the lockdown ends, how long strict border controls are in place and the speed of the global economic recovery. That said, the Council anticipates a revenue shortfall in 2020/21. We are already reviewing our operational budgets as a response to this and have asked managers to reduce expenditure. We are also rethinking how we do business more efficiently after the pandemic lockdown. The situation is changing rapidly and all councils are in unchartered territory. Our Crisis Management Team is meeting daily to monitor and plan our response. The Mayor and Councillors are meeting fortnightly and communicating with each other and staff daily, so the Council is able to respond to challenges and opportunities quickly. We are continuously reviewing our budgets and work programmes in the lead-up to adopting our Annual Plan.

6. Our economic recovery

Updated 29 April 2020:

Central government is looking to local government to co-lead the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council has identified five funding streams and is preparing bids that create jobs, improve infrastructure and stimulate the economy. We expect there will be further extraordinary funding opportunities, so are watching this space closely.

 

Funds for big infrastructure

Crown Infrastructure Partners Ltd is seeking infrastructure projects that are ready for construction within 12 months and have a value of at least $10 million. We have submitted proposals for 19 projects that include major upgrades of water and wastewater infrastructure in the district.

Funds for small infrastructure

We have identified a number of small infrastructure projects that may be eligible for funding under the Northland Employment Opportunities Fund which aims to create jobs for semi-skilled workers. These projects include cycle trail and footpath construction and stormwater drain clearance.

Funds to grow the district

The Far North has already received significant investment in infrastructure and tourism facilities, thanks to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund. We are seeking further funds to strengthen roads that are key freight routes or are strategically important to primary industries.

Funds for drought relief

The Government has already provided $2 million for temporary water supplies in Kaitaia and Kaikohe. We are seeking further funds from $3 million of drought relief money the Government announced for Northland in March. Responding to the drought has cost the Council $2.86 million to date.

Funds for the environment

The Government has indicated a willingness to fund tree planting and fencing projects at waterways in dairy and cattle farming areas to improve water quality. While funding details are unclear at this stage, we will be looking to maximise opportunities for Far North communities.