Auckland Council has today paid out around $1.3 million in rates relief to properties left uninhabitable as a result of the flood and cyclone events.
The rates relief fund, open from 18 April to 5 May for affected property owners, received 806 applications. Relief payments covering the full third and fourth quarter rates instalments were credited to 792 eligible rates accounts.
Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson says the relief follows the council’s Governing Body decision to reopen the Emergency Relief Fund with additional funds targeted for rates payments.
“I am very happy that Auckland Council has started the process of paying out rates relief for homeowners affected by the January floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.
“This is something I championed at Governing Body level and was supported by the Mayor and all councillors. It will provide welcome assistance for what has been a challenging few months for many.”
Auckland Council Group Chief Financial Officer, Peter Gudsell says it is important to target relief where it is most needed.
“Unlike broadly applied rates remission, the fund let the council target financial support to those most impacted, such as ratepayers of uninhabitable properties.
“Around 40 per cent of this rates relief went to properties in the west, around 30 per cent to central Auckland and the isthmus, and 20 per cent and 10 per cent to properties in the north and south respectively.
“We also applied a rates remission on the Waste Management targeted rates for red stickered properties for the third and fourth quarters of this financial year, as this is a service that these properties cannot use.”
We are very mindful that many ratepayers have been affected by the recent weather events. If people are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay their rates, we encourage them to call us on 09 301 0101 to talk through the support, payment and postponement options available to them.
Emergency relief fund
The Emergency Relief Fund, opened by the Mayor on January 31 received 2,539 applications by the cut-off date of 6 March.
The fund provided financial support to individuals, community groups and marae in Auckland experiencing hardship after being affected by the January 2023 Auckland Anniversary weekend flooding, and was extended to those impacted by the February cyclone.
Auckland Council Head of Rates Valuations and Data Management, Rhonwen Heath says the fund was significantly oversubscribed, with more applications than the council would typically receive in a year.
“Applications to the fund have totalled over $20 million.
“Thanks to our generous donators and support from government, the total fund raised $3.7 million – including $1.4 million from central government, $1.1 million from Auckland Council (including $1 million specifically for rates relief), and $1.2 million from corporates, organisations and the public.
“Over $2 million has so far been paid out, with the remaining applications currently being processed for payment.
“When assessing the applications, the team worked hard to ensure funds were distributed as equitably as possible. We aimed to prioritise those most in need, with the first payments going out in March 2023. Due to the large number of applications we received, we have had a delay processing some applications.
“Applications came from all over Auckland, with around 30 per cent from south and southeast Auckland, and a similar amount from suburbs in central Auckland and the isthmus. Around a quarter were from the west, and around 15 per cent from the North Shore.”
The most requested support was towards items such as bedding, food, home appliances and furniture.
Auckland Council would like to acknowledge the following for their significant contributions:
- Stuff Ltd
- ANZ Bank
- Air New Zealand
- Restaurant Association
- Mitre 10
- Harvey Norman
- Toyota Finance New Zealand
- Taiwanese in New Zealand Association Inc
- Heartland Trust
- Partridge Jewellers