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Managing debt

Our responsibility

Rates are collected from levies on properties.  They fund our day-to-day operations and the services that benefit us all, from community facilities to core infrastructure such as roading and water.

What have we done to help?

It is the ratepayer’s responsibility to ensure that rates and water invoices are paid when they are due. Council recognises the economic hardship faced by some ratepayers and we have taken steps to provide better support in these circumstances.

In 2015, the council decided to no longer charge penalties on arrears balances on the rate accounts. Now, we charge 10% to any portion of the current instalment not paid on or before the due date shown.

Council has adopted criteria for considering requests for remission (credit) of rates penalties and created Rates EasyPay to allow ratepayers to pay off their rates and any arrears over a period of time.

How can we help you manage?

If you live in a low-income household, options are available to reduce the burden.

  • If you are on a low income and own and live at your property, you may be eligible for a Department of Internal Affairs' Rates Rebate Scheme.
  • If you are over 65, on a low income, and own and live at your property, you may be eligible to apply to postpone your residential rates. For further information, read our Residential Rates for Senior Citizens brochure.
  • Contact council to calculate weekly, fortnightly, or monthly payments via Rates EasyPay for your rates or water.

If these options are not available to you and you need help, contact us on 0800 920 029 and ask to speak with our debt management team to discuss options and agree to a payment arrangement.

The debt management team is based in Kaikohe but also visits the other service centres during normal operational hours. If you want to meet with one of the team at headquarters or at your local service centre, contact debt management by phone or email revenuerecovery@fndc.govt.nz to arrange an appointment.

What happens if you don’t pay your property rates

If a suitable arrangement cannot be made to pay the arrears, council will consider other means to collect the outstanding debt. This can include contacting the mortgage holder or other debt collection methods.

Arrears (debt) are any amount on your rates account you still owe after 30 June.

Mortgagee process

If you have a mortgage on your property, we will notify your mortgagee (usually a bank) after the fourth instalment due date has expired. After that date we inform them that if you do not pay the outstanding amount within 90 days, we will request that they (the mortgagee) make this payment on your behalf.

When you don’t have a mortgage on your property

If you don’t have a mortgage on your property and we do not receive payment or communication from you regarding the debt on your account, we will issue a final demand for payment.

If you have not paid the outstanding amount by the stated date, we will refer the matter to our legal representatives to recover the debt.

Last updated: 02 Jul 2024 3:45pm