Paying rates

Council's financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Rates are invoiced in four equal installments and the invoice is due for payment in the middle month of each quarter, as shown on each installment notice.

Water volumetric rates charged separately

Water volumetric rates are not included in your annual rates account as a separate water account is sent to you. The water annual charge is included in your annual rates account.

See Water Charges for information on charges for water supply.

Septic tank costs

There is a myth out there that if you have your own septic tank, with no wastewater attachment, that you are still paying for this in your rates. The answer is no. If you are not connected, you do not pay for this service.

Read 'Septic tanks costs - the myth' for more information on charges for wastewater.

Receive your rates and water accounts by email

To receive your accounts electronically (by email) instead of on paper, please complete a change of contact method request form. If you have any queries regarding this service, please contact our Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200.

Complete a change of contact method request form.

Rate payment due dates

Instalment Period Instalment Date Last Day for Payment
1st — 1 July-30 Sept 1 August 20 August
2nd — 1 Oct-31 Dec 1 November 20 November
3rd — 1 Jan-31 Mar 1 February 20 February
4th — 1 April-30 June 1 May 20 May

Suppression of Name and/or Postal Address Information

If you are a protected person under the Domestic Violence Act 1995, you can request to have your name and contact details held on public registers by Nelson City Council not be publicly available. Please download the Direction to Withhold Information for Protected Person (202KB DOC) form, complete and return it to Council.

You can also request Council withholds your name and/or postal address information from the publicly available rating information. Please complete the form: Suppression of Name and/or Postal Address information.


You must pay your rates on or before the last day for payment to avoid the 10% penalty.

Single annual payment

The option to pay annual rates in one payment instead of by installments is available. Under this option you may either:

  1. Pay the full year's rates by 20 August to receive a discount or
  2. Pay the full year's rates by 20 November to have the first Instalment penalty waived.

For those taking option 2 only the first installment penalty is waived as no discount is available after 20 August.

Change of Address

If you change your postal address, please contact our Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200 or complete a change of address form.

Complete a change of address form.

If you have received a letter from the Council or a building consent at your new address this does not automatically mean that the change of address has been recorded in all our records.

You can pay rates by:

1. Cash, EFT-POS, credit card or cheque payments

Cash, Eftpos, Credit Card or cheque payments can be made at any of Council’s offices.

Credit card payments will incur a 2% transaction fee charged by Council’s bank, which is added to the payment amount.   

Cheque payments are accepted at any Council office or by post.  Please be aware Kiwibank will not be honouring cheques after 31 March 2020 and we will be unable to process your payment.

Cheque payments sent by post should be addressed to:

Nelson City Council,
P O Box 645,
Nelson 7040.

2. Telephone and Internet Banking

Pay your rates and water accounts through your bank by using your telephone or computer.  When setting up telephone/internet banking, you will require your rates valuation roll number and water customer billing number. This is used to advise Council where your payment is to be credited. As Council has several functions, each payment must show a specific account reference number. Your rates reference number will start with 19... and your water customer billing number will start with a W or C.

Please note:  If you sell your property and purchase another you will need to change your reference numbers on your telephone/internet banking to your new property account reference numbers, otherwise your payments may continue going to your old address and you could incur charges on your new unpaid account.

Find out more about internet banking.

3. Rates Easy Pay

When using Direct Debit you nominate a bank account that you wish you rates or water payments to be deducted from.  Payments can be made on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.Council will continue to send you a rate assessment notice every 3 months.  Advantages of Direct Debit are that all payments are made on time, no late penalty charges, no need to withdraw cash from the bank or write out cheques, no postage charges and no need to call into the Council offices.

How to join Rates EasyPay

Complete a Rates EasyPay form:

If you prefer not to download a form, contact our Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200 and we will post out an Easypay form to you.

When you join the Rates Easypay system you will receive a letter confirming your payment amounts, commencement date and frequency of your payments.

On payment days, the money you owe will be automatically paid out of your bank account. All transactions will show up on your regular bank account statement. The Council will amend the amounts debited from your account each year without further action on your part. You will be notified of all changes in advance.

To make changes to your direct debit

Once set up on direct debit this can be altered by contacting us. The most common reasons are:

  • Change of bank account: When changing any bank account (even if just the suffix) details a new direct debit form needs to be completed, signed and sent to us for action.
  • Cancel a direct debit: Contact us no later than 2 working days before the payment is due.
  • Stop one direct debit and transfer to a new property (buying and selling a property): If the bank account details are the same as the existing direct debit we can transfer the direct debit to a new property.
  • Add a new property to an existing direct debit: If the bank account details are the same as the existing direct debit we can add a new property this.
  • Change direct debit payment frequency: Contact us and we can amend this for you.

4. By credit card online.

You can pay your rates (and water) bill online via Westpac and a secure interface. There is a fee associated with this.

Pay your rates online.


Penalties are charged for late payments and/or if instalments are not paid in full. If you are paying rates by Automatic Payment please ensure that the amount due is paid in full by the due date - otherwise penalties will be incurred.

To avoid penalties payments Council recommends payment by direct debit in which Council manages the payment of your rates on your behalf. All changes to your payment details will be advised to you in writing before implementing.

Pursuant to Sections 57 & 58 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, the council delegates authority to the Chief Financial Officer to apply the following penalties on unpaid rates (including water charges) at their discretion:

  • a first additional charge of 5% of the amount of each rate instalment remaining unpaid on the penalty date as shown on each rate instalment notice.
  • a second additional charge of 5% will be added to any balance remaining outstanding from a previous rating year (including penalties previously charged) as at 31 December
  • a further additional charge of 5% will be added to any balance remaining outstanding from a previous rating year (including penalties previously charged) as at 30 June
  • The above penalties will not be charged where Council has agreed to a program for payment of outstanding rates.

Additional Charge On Arrears Of Rates

Rates are a charge on the land therefore only one rate account can be in existence for each piece of land at any one time.

If you have recently purchased a property and arrears appear on the rate account, either contact your Solicitor and advise the Council.

An additional 5% penalty will be charged six monthly on all previous years' arrears still unpaid by 31 Dec and 30 June.

Overdue Accounts

If your rate account is in arrears it is important that you contact the rates office as soon as possible to discuss payment arrangements. By making contact as soon as possible you may be able to minimise penalty charges and quickly bring your account up to date. Please do not wait until the penalty date before making enquiries!

Penalty Remission

In accordance with Council's rate remission policy, the council will approve the remission of the penalty levied on installment one due to late payment provided the total annual rates are paid in full by 20 November. If full payment of the annual rates is not paid by 20 November the penalties relating to the four installments will apply.

Unpaid Metered Water Rates

Council will impose a five percent penalty on all metered water rates that remain unpaid following the last date for payment.

See Water Charges for more information on charges for water supply.

Contacts for rates enquiries

You can contact Council's Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200, Fax +64 3 546 0392 or by email.

You can also contact the Council offices which operate a 24 hour, seven days a week phone service on +64 3 546 0200.

Nelson City Council
Civic House
PO Box 645
110 Trafalgar Street
Phone +64 3 546 0200 (all hours)
Fax: +64 3 546 0239