Rates Deferral Scheme

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​He pō, he pō, he ao, he ao. Ki te whai ao ki te Ao Mārama
From darkness comes light and the dawn of a new day​

The COVID-19 global pandemic has created serious social and economic hardship for large sections of the community in Rotorua. While we cannot fully predict the scale of the impact, we do know that the pandemic will have social and financial impacts across our community for some time to come.

On 25 March 2020, Rotorua Lakes Council agreed to adopt a strategy similar to the NZ Government in response to combatting COVID-19. Council agreed to the following approach:

    1. Fight the virus
    2. Cushion the social and economic impacts; and
    3. Position our District for recovery.

In adopting this strategy, Council agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council’s commitment is to cushion the economic impacts for those most directly financially impacted by the pandemic, using a rates deferral scheme to lessen the burden on businesses in the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, and individuals who have been made redundant or had their hours reduced.

To be eligible for the 20 May 2020 rates deferral, ratepayers must meet the following criteria:

For businesses:

    • Are in one of these three affected sectors (tourism, retail, hospitality).
    • Have a letter from your bank confirming a mortgage repayment holiday has been undertaken.
    • Have a letter from a financial advisor indicating that relevant tax relief and Government support has been sought.

For residents:

    • Are an employee who has been made redundant or had reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
    • Have a letter from your employer confirming you have been made redundant or have had reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
    • Have a letter from your bank confirming a mortgage repayment holiday has been undertaken.

If the ratepayer satisfies these criteria they can then apply to Rotorua Lakes Council to either:

a. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment into the first quarter of the next financial year, to be paid in August 2020; or

b. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment and spread the payments over the next financial year (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021) under a payment arrangement.

Businesses not in the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors or residents that do not satisfy the criteria above but are experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19 can contact Council to discuss their situation and establish alternative payment arrangements.

For any enquiries regarding the Rates Deferral Scheme, please contact our Customer Centre on 07 3484199 or by email at: info@rotorualc.nz

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for a rates deferral?

Rates deferral is available to businesses from an affected sector (retail, tourism, hospitality) who have accessed relevant tax relief and Government support, and are utilizing an uplift from the banks’ business finance guarantee scheme or a mortgage repayment holiday scheme. Individuals are eligible for the rates deferral if they have been made redundant or have reduced hours and accessed a mortgage repayment holiday scheme.

Why is a rates deferral not available to all residents?

Council has adopted a strategy similar to the NZ Government in response to COVID-19. In adopting this strategy, Council agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council’s commitment is to cushion the economic impacts for those most directly financially impacted by the pandemic, using a rates deferral scheme to lessen the burden on ratepayers in the Tourism, Retail and Hospitality sectors.

How do I apply for a rates deferral?

If the ratepayer is utilising the other government funded assistance programmes, then they can apply to council to either:

a. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment into the first quarter of the next financial year, to be paid in August 2020; or

b. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment and spread the payments over the next financial year (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021) under a payment arrangement.

Will there be any changes to rates for the 2020-2021 year?

Decisions about any changes to rates beyond the May 2020 instalment will be considered as part of development of the Rotorua Lakes Council’s 2020/21 Annual Plan. Work on a draft Annual Plan is underway and the community will have the opportunity to provide feedback ahead of the plan being finalised and then adopted by Council.

What help can I get with my rates if I don’t qualify for the rates deferral option?

As is always the case, Council can discuss your situation with you and assist with a payment arrangement.
Call our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 to discuss your options with a Customer Services Advisor.

What is the financial implication to Council as a result of this scheme?

Council’s major source of revenue for all services is rates. Any decisions to reduce, change or postpone rates revenue has a significant impact on the organisation. The final rates instalment for the 2019-20 financial year falls due in May this year. This is the instalment proposed for the rates deferral scheme.

The May 2020 instalment is estimated to total $23million plus GST. It is estimated that the Rates Deferral scheme could result in approximately $10m of payments being deferred, which Council would need to then borrow to cover the temporary shortfall.

What other support is available to businesses at this time?

Council’s Rotorua Economic Development team is working to support local b​usinesses through this challenging period. The team is available to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a confidential, case-by-case basis they can:

    • help with employer to employer connections to try and redeploy staff
    • help to navigate access to the Government relief package
    • connect businesses with other resources to try and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
    • Contact them at investment@rotoruanz.com if your business needs assistance​​

Rates Deferral Scheme Application Form

You must be the legal ratepayer(s) for the property at the time of application.

You can download Rates Deferral Scheme Appication Form, attach supporting information and email to info@rotorualc.nz or post to Rotorua Lakes Council, Private Bag 3029, Rotorua Mail Centre, Rotorua 3046 by the application closure date of 20th May 2020.

or you can fill out the application below.​

Rates Deferral Scheme Application Form

Name (as it appears on your Combined Rates Tax Invoice)
Were you the ratepayer at the beginning of this rating year?
Daytime phone / mobile phone
Do you own more than one property?
Please indicate which circumstance applies (attach the relevant supporting documentation specific to each of the situations below)
For individuals: Are you affected by job loss/redundancy or has your income been reduced due to limited hours Please attach letter from
Please attach letter from your employer (mandatory)
For individuals: Have you taken out a mortgage holiday
Please attach letter from your bank (mandatory)
For businesses in the Retail, Tourism or Hospitality sectors: You have sought support from the Business Partner Network
Please attach your Regional Business Partner referral (optional)
For businesses in the Retail, Tourism or Hospitality sectors: You have secured a mortgage repayment holiday and/or interest rate reductions from your bank
Please attach letter from your bank indicating repayment holiday (mandatory)
For businesses in the Retail, Tourism or Hospitality sectors: You have sought advice from your Financial Advisor
Please attach letter from Financial Advisor indicating that relevant tax relief and Government support has been sought (mandatory)
Please select payment deferral option
Obligations and Signature
Please attach any relevant supporting documentation below (compulsory)
Page reviewed: 30 Apr 2020 7:54am