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Annual Budget 2019-20

We've been seeking your opinions on a range of matters, from our Annual Budget, to whether we should consider a new flag for the city, to whether children under five should get free entry to Council swimming pools.

Photo shows laughing woman walking across the Square hand in hand with a toddler.

Consultation closed on 24 April. Hearings were held from Wednesday 8 May until Friday 10 May.

Consultation document and supporting information

Annual Budget

Council is proposing that total rates for 2019-20 will increase by 4.4 per cent – lower than the 5.5 per cent assumed in the 10-Year Plan adopted last year.

The proposed rates increase is part of the Annual Budget, which is now open for consultation.

The Annual Budget consultation document proposes calculating rates in a different way to ensure increases are fair across all residential properties.

That’s because last year new property valuations were issued for Palmerston North. On average, residential land valuations increased by 68 per cent. For commercial properties there was a 30 per cent increase. If we use the current method to calculate rates then some ratepayers who have lower value residential properties would pay rates higher than what the Council believes is reasonable, and rates for some other ratepayers would be unreasonably low.

Use our property search tool to find out what your proposed rates would be under both scenarios

Those changes could include:

  • Reducing the Uniform Annual General Charge from $690 to $500 for every property
  • Decreasing the surcharge that applies to multi-unit residential property
  • Reducing the extent of the discount given to rural and semi-serviced properties (to compensate for the reduced general charge)
  • Increasing the surcharge for non-residential properties from 150 per cent to 165 per cent.

Our Annual Budget consultation document also explains how and why our budget differs from what we’d proposed as part of the 10-Year Plan.

A new flag for the city

Photo shows flag depicting Palmerston North city crest.

Existing flag featuring the Palmerston North crest.

The idea of a new flag for the city was recently presented to a Council committee. Some of the reasons proposed for a new flag included the opportunity to design something that better reflects our city and who we are and the difficulty in distinguishing the current coat of arms flag, particularly from a distance. While the Council has not formed a view on this, it would like to canvass the idea with the wider community. Council has decided to consult on this at the same time as the Annual Budget.

Free entry for under-fives to Council swimming pools

Water Safe New Zealand has identified that it is important for everyone to enjoy and be safe in the water from an early age. Council has identified that cost may be one of the barriers preventing families with children under five-years-old from accessing community swimming pools. Council wants to gauge the level of community support for providing free entry for under-fives to our swimming pools, and will consider what action to take once this consultation is complete.

Submission period

Submissions are open from Tuesday 19 March until Wednesday 24 April 2019.