Council planning processes

    How does the Council Planning process work?

    All councils in New Zealand follow the same cycle when planning their future activities. Every three years, councils must prepare their long-term plan, with annual plans prepared in the other two years. Both plans must be adopted before the start of the next financial year, following public consultation and submissions.

    What is the Long Term Plan?

    The long term plan outlines the council’s intended activities over the next 10 years and includes estimates of how much they cost and how council plans to pay for them. It gets reviewed every three years to check that the estimates and rates are correct, and for the community to have their say. During this process, important strategies and policies that guide council also get reviewed and updated. 

    What is the Annual Plan?

    Annual plans are prepared during the two years between long-term plan reviews. They are used to consult on any council activities that are different from those set out in the long-term plan.

    What's a Consultation Document

    This booklet isn’t the whole long-term plan – it’s a consultation document. The purpose of long term plan consultation documents like this one is to outline the most significant issues and their impact on budgets to you so that you have access to the key information you need to be able to have your say on the plan – without wading through all the details.However, if you would like to get more detail before giving us your feedback on the long term plan, you’re welcome to refer to the draft plan in full – you’ll find it online at

    How does it all relate to my rates bill?

    The planning process is how rates amounts – including increases – get set. So, if you’d like to have your say on the contents of your rates bill, having your say by making a submission on the long term plan or Annual Plan is the way to do it.

Rates and Financial Information

    How much will we be spending, and what on?

    Expenditure by activity areas:  How much we are expecting to spend in each activity area.

    $4 Million

    Our regional plans set out policies and rules for sustainable use of natural and physical resources of the Otago region such as water, air, and the coast.

    $12 Million

    We are responsible for looking after Otago’s natural environment. This involves facilitating the sustainable use of our water, air, and coasts, protecting our unique biodiversity, pest management, state of environment monitoring and reporting, and incident response.

    $4 Million

    Otago’s community is at the heart of everything we do. The democratic decision-making process and the community elected Councillors ensures that the voices from across the region are heard.

    $4 Million

    To look after the environment, we need to regulate it. As regulators, we process resource consents, develop and set rules for how a natural resource can be managed, and check that these rules are being complied with.

    $11 Million

    Many of our urban and rural communities are in low-lying areas close to rivers, and livelihoods rely on being able to use the land. Our flood protection schemes help to protect people and property from floods, and our drainage schemes help to maintain the productive capability of the land and waterways.

    $4 Million

    To ensure our communities are kept safe, we identify and monitor natural hazards such as tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts and flooding. We also respond to flood
    events and maintain Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management.

    $24 Million

    We are responsible for public transport in Otago. We provide services in Dunedin and Queenstown, and offer the Total Mobility scheme to meet the needs of people unable to use public transport. We also facilitate wider transport projects in Otago.

    Where's the money coming from?

    Income sources from the $63 million needed for our proposed plan for 2018/2019.

    Understanding the different kinds of rates you pay

    General Rates

    Everyone who owns property pays general rates to help fund council services, programmes and activities that benefit Otago. Two types of rates make up your general rates amount: 
    1. General rate: based on the capital value of your property
    2. Uniform annual general charge: a fixed amount based on the general rates requirement. 25% percent of the general rates requirement is collected through this charge
    Targeted Rates

    Targeted rates pay for work of direct benefit to a specific group of people.

    Our current targeted rates are:

    • Civil defence and emergency management
    • Wilding tree control
    • Rural water quality
    • Dairy inspections
    • Public transport
      • Dunedin
      • Wakatipu
    • River management
      • Central Otago
      • Clutha
      • Dunedin
      • Wakatipu
      • Wanaka
      • Waitaki
    • Flood and drainage schemes
    • East Taieri drainage scheme
    • Leith flood protection scheme
      • Lower Clutha flood and drainage scheme
      • Lower Taieri flood scheme
      • Lower Waitaki river control scheme
      • Shotover Delta
      • Tokomairiro drainage scheme
      • West Taieri drainage scheme
    The wilding tree control and Civil Defence and Emergency Management rates are technically targeted rates, but they apply to every ratepayer in Otago.

    How much can I expect to pay in general rates in 2018-2019?

    The general rates proposed for a property of mid-range capital value in each district.

    Queenstown Lakes District *

    For capital value $900,000
    General rates would be $90.55
    This is an increase of $11.87 from last year.

    Central Otago District

    For capital value $400,000
    General rates would be $60.31
    This is an increase of $10.53 from last year.

    Clutha District*

    For capital value $200,000
    General rates would be $41.96
    This is an increase of $9.72 from last year.

    Dunedin City

    For capital value $300,000
    General rates would be $61.41
    This is an increase of $8.92 from last year.

    Waitaki District*

    For capital value $250,000
    General rates would be $47.78
    This is an increase of $12.03 from last year.

    *Capital values in the Clutha district, Waitaki district and Queenstown Lakes district have been re-assessed since last year.

    We’ve shown the total increase based on:
    1. Clutha example: A property previously valued at $150,000
    2. Waitaki example: A property previously valued at $200,000
    3. Queenstown Lakes example: A property previously valued at $580,000