FAQs

If you can't find the answer you're looking for free phone 0508 800 800 or email help@horizons.govt.nz

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Consents

What do I need a consent for?

To determine if you need a consent please call toll free 0508 800 800 and ask for our friendly Consents team.  

Common farming activities that often require  a consent include;

  • Dairyshed effluent to land.
  • Discharging contaminants into water, into air or onto land (discharge permit, eg domestic effluent, stormwater).
  • Taking, damming or diverting water (water permit, eg for irrigation or stockwater).
  • Using, disturbing or building a structure on a river or lake bed (land use consent eg. bridge, culvert, gravel take).
  • Disturbing or clearing vegetation from erosion prone land (land use consent).
  • Using, disturbing or building a structure below the highest point on the coast where the sand gets wet (coastal permit).

Managing Natural Resources

Where is Totara Reserve?

Totara Reserve is in the Manawatū District and sits in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges in the Pohangina Valley. It is used by many people as a recreational area and is a valuable piece of native bush in the Horizons Region. We took over management from Manawatū District Council in 2012 and are continuing to enhance its forest and wildlife, and improve camping facilities, tracks and signage. For more information on Totara Reserve, please click here.

To make a booking or for further information regarding Camp Rangi Woods please contact the Tōtara Reserve Regional Park Campground Manager on 06 329 4708. Please note Camp Rangi Woods is not run by Horizons.

Property & Rates

Why do I get a rates bill from my city/district council and Horizons?

Horizons is a completely separate organisation to your city/district council. City and district councils are responsible for community services in your area, such as road maintenance, libraries, recreation areas and land use.
 
Regional councils manage the natural resources, such as land, air and water, across several city and district council territories. We’re also responsible for emergency management, in conjunction with Civil Defence, and provide public transport services to many of our communities.
 
We’ve been sending out rates directly to ratepayers since 2002. Prior to this, Horizons rates were collected on our behalf by the city and district councils. We made the change to direct rating because we believe that you need to know more about how your money is spent.

Flood & Emergency Management

How do I find out information on floodable areas?

If you are looking to purchase a property or are extending your home and want to know how high your floor level should be, our District Liaison Officer can provide you with a hazard report that provides detailed information specific to the property in question based on a 1 in 200 year flood. These reports are free of charge, can take up to 10 days, and can be requested by calling our Customer Services team toll free on 0508 800 800.
 

General

When are council meetings held?

Council meetings are held every month except for January and July. Please click here to view our calendar.
 

Buses & Transport

Which bus goes to the hospital?

We have plenty of buses that service the hosptial in both Palmerston North & Whanganui. See below the options and find which one best suits you. 

Palmerston North Hospital:
105 Cloverlea via Wood St
106 Milson via Ruahine St
107 Kelvin Grove via Tremaine Ave
108 Roslyn via Featherston St
Palmerston North-Feilding bus.
Feilding - Palmerston North

Whanganui Hospital:
202 Castlecliff via Hospital
202 Trafalgar Square via Hospital

 

Bee Card

Why is my balance 'pending'?

If you have topped up your Bee Card, but not yet tagged on the bus your balance will show as 'pending'.
Your money is sitting there, and will show on your account as you've tagged on. 

Climate Change

Why are you looking at climate change?

We are addressing climate change because although we are uncertain about the pace and scale of change, we do know that a changing climate is likely to affect our environment, economy, and way of life, and that this must be addressed with urgency. The intent of the risk assessment is to help our region to adapt to a changing climate by identifying where action is most urgently needed.  Our community engagement through Social Pinpoint is the first step in the process and will consider hazards and potential consequences in terms of community values and wellbeing. 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Are the comments on Facebook binding? How will social media be measured?

A summary of social media commentary will be provided to Councillors as part of their deliberations, prior to them making their final decisions. Receipt of comments provided through social media cannot be acknowledged – formal submissions are required.
 

I have sold my property or land. Why am I still receiving this invoice?

The consent is a legal document that has to be transferred in a property or land sale. We still have your details for this consent so if this has not occurred, please contact us as soon as you can to start the transfer process. Please note that you are still liable for charges until the transfer is made.

Elections

When is the next Local Government election?

Election Day is Saturday 8 October 2022 and voting closes at midday on that day. The voting period starts on Friday 16 September 2022

Elections

Who is running the election?

The Electoral Officer has full responsibility for running the election.

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Can I submit on something other than what is in your consultation document?

Absolutely. The items in our consultation document are those deemed most significant to our communities however, there may be a particular activity or area in our region that concerns you most and that you would like to let Council know about. You are most welcome to submit on any of our activities.
 

Climate Change

Why are you doing a regional climate change risk assessment (RA) if there’s a national one?

The Ministry for the Environment’s national RA focusses on the relative severity of risks and consequences nationally, but does not replace the need for a regional RA. Our risk assessment will be focused on local challenges and is designed to reflect the nature of the Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The regional RA will be used to inform actions plans and policies across the regional, city and district councils. Regional and local RAs are being developed across the country to ensure local challenges are adequately addressed. 

Bee Card

Where can I top-up my cards?

You can top up online at beecard.co.nz or on the bus. You can also top up in person at Horizons' offices in Palmerston North and Whanganui. 
 

Buses & Transport

Which bus goes to the airport?

The Feilding to Palmerston North service.  The Palmerston North-Feilding and Feilding-Palmerston North bus services now travel via Palmerston North Airport terminal (Girls High and Boys High services will not be affected).

Property & Rates

Why have I received separate invoices for each of my properties?

Customers with more than five invoices can request to receive one invoice for all properties, which also means only one payment will need to be made.
 

Managing Natural Resources

What is the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI)?

Our region’s problems with hill country erosion were sorely exposed during the February 2004 storm event. In response, representatives from our region’s communities and stakeholder organisations have joined together and formed the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), which seeks to implement whole farm plans specifically tailored to manage each area of highly erodible land. The aim is to help insure against having to recover from the effects of massive-scale hill erosion in the future. This assists in preventing the silting up of rivers downstream, helping to reduce flooding, and improving water quality.

General

What does Horizons Regional Council do?

We are responsible for managing the land, air and water resources within our area. As your regional council we work with communities in the areas of natural resource management, biodiversity and biosecurity, transport, river management, emergency management and regional prosperity. Our work ranges from riparian planting alongside water ways to trapping possums, from designing flood protection to contracting bus services.

Section 36

What does the administration fee cover?

The administration fee contributes to the costs council incurs in undertaking its consenting, monitoring and administrative functions required under the RMA. This includes maintaining consent and compliance information, reviewing annual charges and ensuring information on our databases and files is accurate and current. 

Section 36

Why am I being charged an administration fee?

The administration fee is charged as part of the ongoing costs associated with being a consent holder and having the ability to reserve the right to use or carry out a consent.

Buses & Transport

Where can I pick up a copy of the Palmerston North Urban bus timetable?

From your bus driver, the Tranzit depot on Matai Street, Palmerston North i-Site, Registry office at Massey Uni, or by popping into the Horizons Palmerston North office located at 11-15 Victoria Avenue, just opposite City Doctors.
Otherwise, give our Customer Services team a call on 0508 800 800 and they will be able to post one out to you.
 

General

What area do you cover?

The Tararua, Manawatū, Horowhenua, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts and Palmerston North City are within our regional boundary, along with part of the Waitomo, Taupō and Stratford Districts.
 

Managing Natural Resources

What is the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord?

Led by Horizons, the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord brings together leaders from community, industry, interest groups, iwi and local government in their efforts to improve the state of the Manawatū River and its catchment. It enables groups to work in partnership with one another, sets clear goals and provides accountability around clean-up actions and activities. Horizons contributes $410,000 per year to this clean-up effort under the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord. This is funded by ratepayers in the Manawatū Catchment. More information about this work can be found at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.

Property & Rates

Why haven't I received a rates bill?

If you’ve recently bought or sold the property, the required details may not have been forwarded to Horizons. If you’ve changed your postal address and forgotten to tell us, please let us know. We’ll then issue you with a copy or a new rates notice.

Bee Card

Where can I get a Bee Card?

Bee Cards are available from BeeCard.co.nz, Palmerston North Regional House and the Whanganui service centre, by contacting us on freephone 0508 800 800, or on the bus. 
 

Climate Change

Who can I talk to for more information on climate change?

You can email climatechange@horizons.govt.nz to speak further with someone about climate change in the Horizons Region. 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Do I get a response to my submission and if so when could I expect this?

You will receive confirmation that your formal submission has been received. After deliberations and Council’s adoption of the 2021-32 Long-term Plan you will receive a written response with the outcome. This will be during July 2021.
 

Elections

What is the name of the Electoral Officer/Deputy Electoral Officer for Horizons Regional Council?

Craig Grant (Electoral Officer) craig.grant@horizons.govt.nz 06 952 2863 / 021 2277 083
Warwick Lampp (Deputy Electoral Officer) wlampp@electionz.com 021 4980517

Elections

What type of voting method do you use?

Horizons Regional Council will use the First Past the Post (FPP) voting method. The candidate or candidates that get the most votes win(s).

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I didn’t receive a submission form in the post. Where do I get one from?

Customer services will have these on hand at each office and can post a form out to the ratepayer.
 

Climate Change

What happens after Social Pinpoint closes?

This the first time we’ve spoken with our communities about climate change. After we close Social Pinpoint for comments, it will be available for everyone to view for one month before it is removed. We will gather an understanding of how our communities are feeling alongside the information provided to formulate a plan and work with subject matter experts and council staff from across the region to understand what is most at risk in the Horizons Region. 

General

How do I contact the Councillors?

Our Councillors contact details are available here on our website.

Managing Natural Resources

I have animal pests on my property, can you help?

Our animal pest team are often able to provide different types of traps, and bait depending on what is appropriate. If the animal pest is not included in our pest plan, our pest team can give you helpful advice on what to do. Call our Customer Services team toll free 0508 800 800.

Section 36

Why isn’t Section 36 also being charged to my neighbour?

The fees are based on the consent held by the property owner and often neighbours have different consents. If you believe that your neighbour should also be liable for this charge, please provide full details to our customer services team on free phone 0508 800 800 and we will look into it.

Buses & Transport

Wheelchair accessible buses & bike racks

All of our buses are wheelchair-accessible. This means they are low floored, so no more steps to climb up - and they have enough room for push wheelchairs, (not electronic ones) to fit. They are easier to use for the elderly, and make it possible for those in wheelchairs to make use of the bus services.
 

Property & Rates

Which areas are in the Horizons Region?

Horizons encompasses the Ruapehu, Rangitīkei, Whanganui, Manawatū, Palmerston North, Tararua and Horowhenua districts, and also some parts of the Taupō, Stratford and Waitomo districts.

Managing Natural Resources

How do I report pollution?

By calling our freephone Pollution Hotline on 0508 800 800.

Buses & Transport

What is an Outer Terminal?

The Outer Terminal (OT) is a normal bus stop.
However, it shows passengers that this is the half-way point of the bus route, and the OT departure time, which should help to make it easier in estimating the time a bus will arrive at a particular stop.
The OT also represents when the bus changes route number.

For example:
The below snapshot is of the Highbury/Takaro bus timetable.
The 6.40am Route to OT is listed as 3 which is the Highbury route so the bus heads towards Cuba Street first.
Once the bus reaches the OT, which on this route is at the Highbury shops, it continues to do the 4 route. Which is the Takaro area.
The 7.00am bus goes the opposite way and does the Takaro part first, followed by Highbury.

General

How are you different from the city or district council?

Your city or district council is responsible for community services in your area, like road maintenance, libraries, land use and subdivisions. On the other hand we, your regional council, manage the natural resources in your area.

Some of these activities span across several city and district council boundary lines therefore we work closely with other councils on some issues to ensure they are managed to benefit the whole Region.
 

Property & Rates

Who gets a rates bill from Horizons?

Everyone who owns a property in the Horizons Region will get a rates invoice from Horizons.

Section 36

Why do I have to pay Section36 research charges?

Council has determined that consent holders receive individual benefit from the monitoring research that is carried out.
 
The research charges contribute towards the costs incurred by Horizons in researching and identifying the cumulative impact on our environment of all such activities across our region. Information gained from this research can also be used by applicants during the resource consent application process.
 
The annual cost of the water quantity monitoring and research is approximately $5.9 million per year. Of this, thirty (30%) percent is funded by consent holders through Section 36 research charges, with the balance (70%) recovered through the General Rate.
 
This research is essential for our many regional organisations, farms and other industries, who are dependent on this information. The findings enable us to continue to provide communities and users with ongoing services, including water for recreational use, clean drinking water and a healthy habitat for native fish.
 
By maintaining and further developing knowledge of our region’s natural resources, the interests of the consent holder, the needs of the wider regional community and the resource itself are all protected.

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I don’t live in Palmerston Nth or Whanganui why am I being asked about bus services in these areas?

You do not need to provide your thoughts on every item included in our consultation document. Some services, such as passenger transport, are targeted rate activities. This means only those who receive direct benefit from a service are rated for it. These have been included in the consultation document due to the significance of change being proposed.
 

Climate Change

What are you already doing about climate change?

Local government exists to enable local decision making for communities and to promote their social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing – now and for the future. 
  
Horizons and the territorial authorities across the region have committed to a collaborative work programme in the face of climate change. As part of this commitment, regional chiefs (mayors and chair) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and propose to undertake a range of work to build knowledge and understanding of the effects of climate change, and to build resilience across the region.   
  
The councils across the region have started to undertake work to tackle climate change. This work includes: 
  
Natural Environment 

  • Erosion control through tree-planting in hill-country areas.  
  • Establishing green corridors to enhance native biodiversity and ecosystems. 
  
 Built Environment 
  • Improved water storage systems to cope with future droughts. 
  • Greater resilience of stormwater systems to cope with more frequent and intense storms. 
  
Social and Cultural Wellbeing 
  • Working with communities to develop response and recovery plans to reduce disruption after extreme weather events. 
  • Advice on resilient homes, e.g. sustainable design and rainwater harvesting.   
  
Many of Horizons' work programmes already respond to climate change. For over a decade Horizons’ Sustainable Land Use Initiative, introduced following the devastating 2004 floods, has focused on reducing erosion of our valuable hill country soils. The effects of sea-level rise have also been a focus in Horizons’ river management 30-year Infrastructure Strategy, and further flood protection has been explored for places such as Anzac Parade in Whanganui.   
  
Our teams carry out significant planting in conjunction with landowners, which can reduce soil erosion and capture greenhouse gases.  
  
A cross-organisational team has also been established to develop a Climate Change Strategy for Horizons. The aim of this strategy is to: 
  
  • Set a position on Horizons’ role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. 
  • Provide a direction on what action Horizons should proactively take. 
  • Provide a basis for responding to opportunities and disruptions as they relate to our activities and the outcomes we aim to achieve for our communities. 
  • Develop staff understanding of how the strategy approach will relate to Horizons’ day-to-day work. 
  
A Regional Climate Change Action Plan has been written, while a Regional Climate Change Risk Assessment (RA) is in development. 

Elections

How many constituencies does Horizons Regional Council have?

Horizons Regional Council has eight (8) constituencies. See our constituencies map for their boundaries.

  • Horowhenua
  • Manawatū-Rangitikei
  • Palmerston North
  • Ruapehu
  • Tararua
  • Whanganui
  • Raki Māori
  • Tonga Māori

Elections

What is the role of a councillor?

A councillor:

  • Participates in strategic and long-term planning for the whole city/district/region
  • Participates in setting a budget and rates
  • Develops policy across a wide range of activities and services
  • Represents the Horizons region at functions as required
  • Reviews and develops bylaws for the city/district/region
  • Advocates on a wide range of issues
  • Coordinates and forms partnerships with other spheres of government and other agencies
  • Participates in the appointment and performance review of the Chief Executive Officer
  • Acts on all these matters within a legislative and regulatory framework
  • Monitors the performance of the council organisation

Climate Change

What are the key effects from climate change on our region?

This changing climate is likely to lead to changes in land-use suitability and impacts on primary production. Changing weather patterns, such as a warmer climate, may provide new opportunities for horticulture or cropping in some areas. However, we will also face significant challenges like more frequent and serious flooding. Climate change is not a problem for the distant future: some of these changes are already starting to be felt. By responding now, we can make our communities more resilient and reduce the overall costs associated with climate change. 
 
Flooding 
Changes in extreme weather are likely to increase the frequency and magnitude of flood events. 
 
Erosion 
More extreme rainfall and more frequent storm events are likely to increase soil erosion, particularly from hill country areas. 
 
Drought 
Reduced rainfall and increased evapotranspiration (transfer of water from land to the atmosphere) are likely to increase incidence of drought across the region; particularly to the east of the Ruahine Ranges. 
 
Water availability 
Seasonal changes in rainfall totals are likely to reduce water availability – particularly during the summer months. Projected changes in rainfall vary spatially across the region. It is anticipated that east of the region will get drier, while the north and west will get wetter. 
 
Sea level rise and coastal erosion 
Sea levels are projected to rise – this will impact how we live near and use coastlines. 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I don’t understand why I have received this information. Do I have to do anything with this?

Horizons Regional Council’s proposed Long-term Plan sets out how we plan on managing the region’s natural resources for the next 10 years. This includes identifying the activities we need to deliver and proposing what rate contribution is required to cover the estimated costs each year.  This is then sent out for public consultation, inviting people to have their say through a formal submission process. Our consultation period is the time for you to let Council know if they have got their plan right. Feedback is then considered during a hearing process, where people can talk to their submissions before Council deliberates and then adopts the final 2021-231 Long-term Plan on 22 June. 
 

Managing Natural Resources

How do I report a noxious weed?

You can report a noxious weed by calling our helpful Customer Service team toll free on 0508 800 800 and providing your name and contact information with details of the plant pest.

 

Property & Rates

Why is Horizons' general rate based on capital value?

Regional councils’ general rates may be made on either a land value or capital value basis. We were directed to use the capital value system by the Local Government (Manawatū-Whanganui Region) Reorganisation Order 1989, which established the Council. The Local Government Commission considered the different rating systems during the process of forming the Reorganisation Order and their decision was for the capital system.
 
Other councils in our area (and the rating system they use):
 

  • Palmerston North City Council         Land Value
  • Manawatū District Council               Capital Value
  • Whanganui District Council              Land Value
  • Horowhenua District Council            Land Value
  • Tararua District Council                    Land Value
  • Ruapehu District Council                  Capital Value
  • Rangitīkei District Council                Capital Value
  • (Part) Waitomo District Council        Capital Value
  • (Part) Taupō District Council            Capital Value
  • (Part) Stratford District Council        Capital Value

Section 36

Why do I have to pay for Section 36 consent monitoring?

Horizons Regional Councillors have determined through the Annual Plan process that consent holders will be charged a Fixed Annual Preliminary Compliance Charge (FAPCC) for consent monitoring based on the type of activity carried out on site.  For sites with more than one consented activity the FAPC will be for the main activity and charged at the time the consents monitoring is carried out by Horizons.
 
For telemetered water takes the FAPCC is charged at the same time as environmental monitoring and research charges as consent monitoring for these sites is ongoing.
 
The FAPCC accounts for costs associated with the first compliance assessment. Any further time required to undertake monitoring of an activity is recovered through additional charges based on actual and reasonable costs. Additional charges (over and above the annual preliminary charge) will also account for extra compliance monitoring (including site visits, sampling, assessment, reporting and follow up processes), which is required as a result of non-compliance with consent conditions.
            
The resource consent annual administration charge fee of $50 (excluding GST) per consent contributes to the costs Council incurs in undertaking its consenting, monitoring and administrative functions required under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Buses & Transport

What does HOME ONLY mean on the bus timetables?

The driver won't be picking up passengers on the route, only dropping off. The bus won't return to Main Street Terminal when finished its run.

Managing Natural Resources

How do I find the River Heights and Rainfall page?

On our home page by using the black box on the right hand side. 
Otherwise you can find the page in it's entirety under Flood & Emergency Management.

 

Section 36

Why are there additional consent numbers on my invoice this year? Am I being billed twice for every consent I hold?

You have two or additional consent numbers because we moved to a new consents database – this required all existing consents to be renumbered.  To avoid confusion we have included both (old and new) numbers this year so that you are aware of the new number. 

You are only billed for the consent/s you have previously had – there is no double billing.
Your consent/s are shown on the invoice as:  New Consent No ATH-1993000762.00 (formerly 3381).

Property & Rates

What is meant by equalisation?

Each year we get an equalisation certificate from Quotable Value that shows the value of all districts as at the last re-valuation date. This information is used to equally spread the rates allocated by capital value across the districts.
 

Buses & Transport

What are monthly passes?

Monthly Passes are a concession that get lodaded to your Bee Card which allow you one month's unlimited travel from first use, and lasts for 30 days. Monthly passes can only be used in Palmerston North and Whanganui.

An adult monthly pass costs $55
A child monthly pass costs $35
 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I have a property over 4 hectares, what is this new biodiversity and biosecurity rate?

For properties over 4 hectares, the rating lines below have been consolidated into a new Biodiversity and Biosecurity rate;

  • Old Man's Beard
  • Possums
  • Rooks
  • Pest plant

Climate Change

How do we know how climate change will impact our region?

Horizons Regional Council recently engaged NIWA to use global and national climate models to investigate climate change scenarios for our region. This found that climate change could result in both positive and negative effects for the Horizons Region. 

What is Bee Card?

A regional integrated ticketing system has been rolled out in the Horizons Region, replacing the old bus card, GoCard. Whanganui started using the Bee Card in December 2019, while Palmerston North, Manawatū, Rangitīkei and Horowhenua started using the Bee Card 20 July 2020. Horizons is one of nine New Zealand regions moving (or have already moved) to the Bee Card. Many of the regions were facing out of date, and increasingly obsolete technology with their bus ticketing systems, while others hadn’t previously had cards available. A consortium of regional councils was formed to make the project more cost effective and ensure robust technology, and shared marketing resources.
 
By all joining together we were able to pool costs and benefits, to get the best deal for our ratepayers. The Bee Card is a welcomed change as the tag on tag off functionality provides us with rich data, some of which we weren’t able to collect previously. This data includes information on passenger use, hot spots along the routes and fare collection, which will be highly beneficial in informing our future network planning.

Elections

What is the difference between Māori and general constituencies?

Horizons Regional Council has established Māori constituencies. Members of Māori constituencies are elected by those enrolled to vote on the respective Māori electoral roll; similarly members of general constituencies are elected by those enrolled to vote on the respective general electoral roll.

Elections

What qualifications and experience do I need to be a candidate?

You must be a New Zealand citizen and be a parliamentary elector anywhere in New Zealand. Other requirements are that:

  • You are nominated by two electors in the area you are standing for.
  • You or your spouse/partner must not have concerns or interests in contracts over $25,000 with the council.
  • If you are subject to a Court Order under section 31 of the Protection of Personal Property Rights Act 1988, you should take legal advice.
  • If you are an employee of the council, you must resign before taking up your position as an elected member. The rules of some councils may require you to take leave for campaigning prior to the election.
  • You do not need to reside in the area (city, district, ward, constituency, community board or local board) that you are standing for.
  • You do not need any formal qualifications. Elected members come from all walks of life and generally have a desire to serve their community.

Bee Card

What do I do with my old GoCard?

You can dispose of your old GoCard. GoCards are no longer being accepted on buses and we are no longer transferring balances from GoCards onto Bee Cards.

Climate Change

How quickly can we adapt to climate change?

Responding to a climate change will take time. While our first community engagement in this space (using Social Pinpoint) will help inform our work, the results may take decades to be evident.  

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I have looked at the website and found that my increase is more that the average rate increase of 8.0% listed on your submission form. Why do I pay more that the listed increase?

It is important to note that the proposed rate increase is an average only, and actual rates notices will differ from property to property due to factors such as district rating revaluation and specific rating inputs such as river schemes and urban passenger transport rates for certain properties. To find out how the proposed average rates increase for Year 1 translates to your specific property please enter your address or valuation number into our rates search here.
 
 

Section 36

Why are my Section 36 charges based on my maximum authorised daily water take when I do not take my maximum allowance of water?

The terms of your current consent ensure that your right for the full water take amount is reserved. All such charges are based on the maximum authorised daily allowance regardless of the actual volume that the consent holder may choose to take.

You may wish to consider varying your consent to a lower consented volume in order to reduce these research charges in the future. This would require a variation to your consent. To arrange this, please contact our Consents team on freephone 0508 800 800.

Property & Rates

How do re-valuations affect rates?

All properties in the region are re-valued on a three-yearly cycle. If your property has been re-valued this year, the value on which your property is rated will have changed. For example if your rates were previously calculated on a capital value of $300,000, however your property has been re-valued to $327,000, then your rates will have been calculated on the $327,000 this time.

Property & Rates

How can I pay my rates bill?

We have many payment options available, including bill payment (via online banking), automatic payments, credit card, direct debit, or at the counter of one of our offices.

Section 36

Who can I contact for more information about Section 36?

General queries about the consent monitoring charge itself 
e.g. "Why do I have to pay for consent monitoring?"

Call 0508 800 800 and ask for the Consents Monitoring team.

General queries about the research charge itself  
e.g. "Why has this charge been introduced?"

Call 0508 800 800 and ask for the Science team.

Questions about the invoice
e.g. “I need more time to pay”.

Call 0508 800 800 and ask to speak to Accounts Receivables
 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

I used to have more rating lines - where have they gone?

Some properties were previously charged for the following rating lines, which are now consolidated into the general rate: 

  • biosecurity
  • emergency management
  • information
  • resource consent management
  • river and drainage
  • strategic management
  • transport planning and road safety
  • water quality and quantity

Climate Change

Are you involving local iwi/Maori?

Yes, we have already begun conversations with tangata whenua, as their values, local knowledge and mātauranga Māori are important considerations. The regional climate change risk assessment will involve engagement with iwi, hapū and mātauranga Māori subject matter experts throughout the project. 

Elections

When I stand for election, can I be affiliated with an organisation or group?

Yes, if you belong to a political party or other group, you may want to identify with them. However, you don’t have to have any affiliations. If this is your situation, you can identify as, ‘independent’ or leave the space blank when you fill out your nomination form.

If you do have a specific affiliation, the electoral officer may require a letter of consent from the party, organisation or group giving its consent for you to use the affiliation.

Elections

How many people do I need to nominate me and who can nominate me?

You need two people to nominate you. A nominator must be on the electoral roll for the constituency for which you are standing, e.g. if you are standing for election to a specific constituency, you must be nominated by two electors from that constituency who are on the electoral roll for that constituency. You are not able to nominate yourself.

Bee Card

I’m having trouble setting up my Bee Card account or registering my card.

Please call us on freephone 0508 800 800 and we’ll talk you through it or email beecard@horizons.govt.nz
 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

If I put in a submission, do I have to attend the hearings and talk to Council about this?

If you would like to speak to your submission in person, please indicate this in the tick box available in the contents section of the submission form. If you don’t want to speak your submission will be read out to the Council on your behalf.
 

Buses & Transport

I'd like to give some feedback on the bus services. Who do I call?

You can provide feedback, along with your name and contact information. To do so, please contact Horizons' Customer Service team on freephone 0508 800 800.

Section 36

What time period does this invoice cover and how often are they issued?

Your invoice refers to the 12 month period 1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022. These invoices are issued annually, midway through the invoiced period (typically sent to you in January or February).

Property & Rates

Can I pay by automatic payment?

Automatic payments can be set up in two ways:
 

  • Request a form from our customer services team, complete it and then pass it onto your bank to set up.
  • Ring us on free phone 0508 700 800 to work out how much per chosen frequency you need to pay, and then set us up as a new automatic payment through your internet banking.
 
If payments aren’t made, or not enough is being paid to have completed the full invoice by the end of the current financial year (30 June), the remission of penalty will not be applied.

Property & Rates

Can I pay by direct debit?

You can pay by direct debit in annual, quarterly, monthly or fortnightly payments. We can send you a direct debit form or you can download one directly from our website.   
 

Section 36

What do I get for my money when I pay Section 36 charges?

Cleaner, safer water both now and for the future. Water quantity, surface and groundwater resources are managed to ensure there is an adequate supply for consent holders, the wider community and for aquatic wildlife.
 
By researching the effects of all current resource consents including your own, the Council is able to ensure that such consents can be effectively maintained, while sustainably managing the environment now and for the future.

Extensive monitoring is undertaken by the consents monitoring team and other Horizons staff of activities associated with:
•    District Council, farm and industry water discharges and abstractions
•    Monitoring land use activities (intensive farming, vegetation clearance and gravel extractions)
•    Inspecting and assessing data and reporting on the results.

Monitoring of your resource consent to determine compliance may include:
•    Site inspections (these may be tri- or bi-annual, annual or more frequently if required)
•    Assessing daily or monthly water and gravel abstraction data
•    Assessment of formal reports sent in by consent holders (quarterly or annually)
•    Assessing resource consent activities in response to public complaints.

This monitoring ensures that resource consent conditions are being complied with and:
•    Supports fair distribution of the water resources throughout our region
•    Ensures land use activities are being undertaken in a sustainable manner
•    The potential for environmental impacts from discharges is minimised.

Buses & Transport

I need to catch two buses to get across town; do I have to pay two full fares?

As long as you are catching the second service within an hour of catching the first one, the transfer is free. If you use a Bee Card this process is automatic. 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

What amount will my rates go up should everything proposed be adopted?

Council are proposing an average rate increase of 8.0 per cent for Year 1, 7.3 per cent for Year 2, and 6.9 per cent for Year 3. It is important to note that this will differ from property to property as rates vary for each district due to factors such as district rating revaluation and specific rating inputs such as river schemes and urban passenger transport rates for certain properties. To find out how the proposed average rates increase for Year 1 translates to your specific property please enter your address or valuation number into our rates search on our website.
 

Bee Card

How do I get more information about the Bee Card?

If you have any further questions, please email the details through to beecard@horizons.govt.nz and the transport team will come back to you. 
 

Elections

When do nominations open?

Nominations open from 15 July 2022 and close on Friday 12 August 2022 at midday. Nominations must be lodged in person with the electoral officer or an electoral official at the council you are standing for or emailed to elections@horizons.govt.nz by the close date. Do not leave lodgement until the last day because if there any problems with the details provided there might be insufficient time to resolve them and you could miss out.

Elections

Where do I get a nomination form from?

Nomination forms are available from:

  • Horizons Regional Council website
  • By contacting Horizons Regional Council on 0508 800 800

Your nominators must fill in the form. You must agree to being nominated and will also need to sign the form

Long-term Plan 2021-31

What are the key dates for the Long-term Plan process?

The consultation period runs from 26 March – 23 April.
Council hearings will be held 11-13 May.
Deliberations are on 26 May.
Final adoption of the LTP will be on 22 June 2021.
 

Buses & Transport

Help! I've left something on the bus! Who do I contact?

Give Tranzit a call on 06 355 4955; they look after property left on the bus. Please note no responsibility will be accepted by Tranzit or Horizons Regional council for Lost Property.

Section 36

Why does my invoice have additional charges for non-compliance?

If the consent conditions are not complied with, there are additional charges which are invoiced at the time of the non-compliance.
*These charges are typically recovered on a staff time per hour rate.

Property & Rates

There's a QR code on my invoice – what’s this for?

Scan the QR code on your invoice and you’ll be taken directly to a credit card payment facility to pay your rates. Simply open your phone or tablet’s camera and tap on the link that appears on screen. Enter the appropriate details from your rates notice, ensuring that your valuation number is correct. Press continue and you’ll then be able to enter your credit card details to make the payment. Please note, bank fees may be applicable to online credit card payments.

Property & Rates

How do I sign up to receive my rates invoice electronically?

There is a section on the top right of your invoice with a code and website link. The website link will take you to our provider’s website, where you can sign up to receive your rates notices electronically. Follow the web link and enter your email address as well as the code from your notice. Sending notices via email, rather than via hard copy in the post, helps us create a more sustainable future.

Section 36

What if I'm not taking the water allocated to me under the terms of my consent?

As the holder of a current resource consent, you have established the right to take your specified volume of water.  Council policy stipulates that all such charges are based on the maximum authorised daily allowance, regardless of the actual volume that the consent holder chooses to take.

If you wish to give up your right to take water, you have the option of surrendering your resource consent, in which case future research charges would not apply.  However, if you then choose to resume taking water in the future, you would have to go through the consent application process again.

Charges for scientific monitoring of the water apply to all granted consents and continue to be charged, even if you do not take the allocated water.

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Where can I find further information about what Horizons is proposing for their Long-term Plan?

Our webpage here includes electronic copies of the consultation document and supporting information, as well as other information we think may be useful for you to make an informed submission.
 

Bee Card

Do I need a Bee Card if I am a SuperGold or Massey, UCOL, IPU and ETC user?

Not yet. For now you just need to show the driver your ID to access free travel. If you are a SuperGold customer and plan on travelling during the hours where you will need to pay, we recommend you use a Bee Card for this.
 

Elections

Do I need to be on the Māori electoral roll or of Māori descent if I am standing for election in a Māori Constituency?

No. To be eligible you must be a New Zealand citizen and your name must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand). You will need to be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the Māori electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

Equally if you are on the Māori electoral roll you can stand in a general ward, and will need to be nominated by two electors whose names appear on the general electoral roll within the area of election for which you are standing.

Elections

How much will it cost me to stand?

You will need to pay a nomination deposit of $200 GST inclusive. The funds must be deposited with the Electoral Officer at the same time your nomination is submitted. It is recommended you pay the nomination deposit by online/internet banking (or EFTPOS or cash) noting that cheques are no longer accepted. If you poll greater than 25% of the lowest polling successful candidate (for FPP elections) you will receive your nomination deposit back.

Bee Card

Can I still pay the bus fare using cash?

Cash fares are still available but we ask you pay with exact change where possible. The Bee Card fare is cheaper than the cash fare.
 

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Why is my prompt payment discount showing $0 on the rates search?

We are proposing to remove the prompt payment discount as it is inconsistent with Council's guiding revenue and finance principles.

Section 36

How much have my charges changed since last year?

The fixed fee ($30.63) is the same as last year and the charge per cubic metre taken (56 cents) is 6 cents higher than last year.  The charges for hydro schemes have also risen slightly.

Buses & Transport

Does the bus run on a public holiday?

No services run on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or ANZAC Day. 

On all other public holidays, services run as follows:
Palmerston North -  Sunday timetable.
Whanganui (excluding commuter) - Saturday timetable.
Feilding - Saturday timetable.
Marton Commuter - No services operate.
Levin Commuter - No services operate.
 

Property & Rates

Why have you increased rates when the cost of living is already so high?

We know rates increases aren’t ideal and we’ve worked hard to ensure the increase doesn’t exceed what was already forecast in the Long-Term Plan, particularly at a time when things such as inflation and insurance costs are high. Unfortunately, these are the things that affect Horizons too.

Property & Rates

Why have the rates for my Palmerston North property increased so much?

Horizons has a rating system that deals with most rises and falls in property values, and this works for the region as a whole. However, in areas where Capital Values rise significantly as a result of re-valuation (Palmerston North properties were re-valued in 2021), rates in those areas will increase to reflect this.

The Council has no say in this matter. Any concerns will need to be taken up with Quotable Value (QV) – the government agency that sets the rateable value of your property.

Please also note that Palmerston North City Council's general rate is determined by Land Value, as opposed to the Capital Value-based general rate we use. This difference means rate increases or decreases don't always correspond between the two councils. Horizons was directed to use a Capital Value-based system by the Local Government (Manawatū-Whanganui Region) Reorganisation Order 1989, which established our Council.

Buses & Transport

How do I advertise on a bus?

Feilding buses:  e-mail Graham at Uzabus or call 06 356 4896.

Palmerston North and Whanganui buses: e-mail Tessa at Tranzit Coachlines or call 0508 TRANZIT ext. 4 for more information.

Section 36

How can I have my say regarding these Section 36 research and monitoring charges?

Research and monitoring charges are determined by Horizons' elected Councillors following a public consultation process.

You can make submissions on Council’s Draft Annual Plan during the consultation process generally in the first third of each year, and during the three-yearly Long-term Plan consultation process. For further information on how to get involved, please contact our Customer Services team on freephone 0508 800 800.  

Bee Card

Do I need to register my Bee Card?

We highly recommend that you do as this means you can top up online, manage multiple cards or transfer your balance if your card gets lost or stolen.

Elections

Can I withdraw my nomination as a candidate?

Only if it is withdrawn before the close of nominations. You cannot withdraw voluntarily after nominations have closed. If you decide to opt out, your name will still appear on the voting document. If you do change your mind and decide not to run for election after you have been nominated, let your electoral officer know who will talk through the issues with you.

However, if you become incapacitated with serious illness or injury and unlikely to be able to perform the functions and duties if elected to office, you can apply to withdraw on those grounds. You will need verification from a doctor and lawyer about your situation. See your local electoral officer if you need more information about this process.

Elections

What is a candidate profile statement?

You may provide a candidate profile statement when you lodge your nomination. This is a statement of up to 150 words containing information about yourself and your policies and intentions if elected to office. The profile statement will be included in the voting packs that all electors receive.

If your candidate statement is submitted in Māori and English, the information contained in each language must be substantially consistent with the information contained in the other language. Each language has to be within a 150-word limit. Your profile statement must be true and accurate.

The Electoral Officer is not required to verify or investigate any information included in your statement. Your profile can include a recent passport size colour photograph. In addition, your candidate profile statement must state whether or not your principal place of residence is in the area you are seeking election, e.g., ‘My principal place of residence is in the Palmerston North Constituency’, or ‘My principal place of residence is not in the Palmerston North Constituency’. This is not part of the 150-word limit.

Buses & Transport

Bus fares for UCOL staff and students?

UCOL students and staff are entitled to travel free on Palmerston North and Whanganui urban services, just show your current ID as you board.
 

Section 36

How are the Section 36 research charges calculated for water takes?

The charges are set out in the Long Term Plan 2021-31  All holders of permits for surface and groundwater takes are charged a $30.63 fixed fee, plus a rate of $0.56 (56 cents) per cubic metre of the authorised maximum daily (not annual) water take volume (as documented in the resource consent).

NOTE: Charges in the Long Term Plan are GST excluded.

Property & Rates

What is the rate increase?

Based on the work programmes planned for the year, an additional $4.1 million in rates revenue is required for Council to continue doing its core business. This equates to an 8.1 per cent total rate increase across the region, which differs slightly to increase of 8.22 per cent planned in the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan.

Property & Rates

What makes up the total rate increase of 8.1%?

Council has largely followed what was set out in the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan (LTP), keeping rates slightly lower than the 8.22% signalled in the LTP.

  • Capital programmes have been rephased to take advantage of Central Government funding. This rephasing has also allowed Council to increase some budgets to account for rising costs.
  • Insurance premiums have an additional budget of $250,000
  • Inflation on our Passenger Transport Services of $240,000 – note that 51% of this is funded by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency.
  • $375,000 to help progress weed harvesting on Lake Horowhenua.
Other work programmes have continued as signalled in the LTP, including proposed increases to resourcing, particularly in regulatory, science and monitoring, and investment in iwi and hapū capacity.

Buses & Transport

Bus fares for Massey staff and students?

Massey internal students and staff are entitled to free travel within Palmerston North on any urban or Massey service. Free travel does not apply to extramural students. Massey Students and Staff are required to have a registered Bee Card and apply for the Massey concession throught the Massey Portal to be entitled to the free travel on the bus.

 

Section 36

How much of the research am I funding?

The total annual science and research cost to Horizons, including charges for fixed equipment, computer software, laboratory costs, staffing and research agency fees is $5.85 million. Thirty (30%) percent of the cost of water quantity monitoring and research is funded by consent holders through the research charges, with the balance (70%) being funded through the General Rate.

Elections

Does a criminal record affect a person standing as a council candidate?

No, not at all for city, district, and regional council elections.

However, please contact the Horizons Regional Council Electoral Officer for more information: craig.grant@horizons.govt.nz 06 952 2863 / 021 2277 083

Elections

How long is the term of the elected member?

Three years.

Section 36

How are the Section 36 research charges calculated for water quality/discharge consents?

 

The charges are set out in the Long Term Plan 2021-31, shown in column 2 of the table below:

NOTE:  1.  Charges in the Long Term Plan are GST excluded;

Type and Quantity 2021-22

Annual Fee
Benign Discharge Nil
Discharge to Land <25 237
Discharge to Land>25 to 50 315
Discharge to Land >50 to 100 473
Discharge to Land >100 to 200 631
Discharge to Land >200 to 1,000 2,103
Discharge to Land >1,000 to 10,000 2,366
Discharge to Land 10,000+ 2,629
Discharge to Water <25 473
Discharge to Water>25 to 50 631
Discharge to Water >50 to 100 946
Discharge to Water >100 to 200 1,262
Discharge to Water >200 to 1,000 4,206
Discharge to Water >1,000 to 10,000 4,731
Discharge to Water 10,000+ 5,257
Unspecified Volume Discharge 2,629
Land Fill – High impact 5,257
Land Fill – Medium impact 789
Land Fill – Low impact 263


Some sites require Council to do more monitoring, therefore, the Tables below show consent holders from who Council now recovers additional research charges. 

Additional Research Site (in addition to standard charge) 2021-22

Annual Fee
AFFCO Feilding 5,055
Fonterra - Longburn 3,438
Fonterra - Pahiatua 1,728
Horowhenua District Council 4,534
Manawatū District Council 25,536
NZ Defence Force 7,225
Palmerston North City Council 9,357
Rangitīkei District Council 27,284
Riverlands Manawatu 4,247
Ruapehu District Council 29,213
Scanpower 2,601
Winstone Pulp 4,945

 

Additional Monitoring at Site 2021-22

Annual Fee
Tararua District Council As per contract

Buses & Transport

Are the buses wheelchair accessible?

All buses in Palmerston North, Whanganui and Feilding are wheelchair friendly.

Property & Rates

Is the 8.1% increase the same for everyone?

No. It’s important to note that the average rate increase does not mean the same for everyone’s rates. This variance is because parts of our region, such as Palmerston North, have recently seen changes in property valuations. It’s also important to note that other areas in our region may see a negative rates increase for this very same reason. Targeted rates for activities such as river management schemes and passenger transport services also mean your rates bill may differ from your neighbour’s or those in neighbouring districts.

Property & Rates

My rates have decreased this year – is this correct?

Yes. Each year, different parts of our region go through a revaluation process. Palmerston North properties were revalued in 2022. As part of the equalisation process, which ensures that all house values in the region are based on the same valuation dataset, if you live in another part of the region you may experience a small decrease in your rates. This doesn’t mean our level of service has reduced for you.

Section 36

What are the Section 36 invoices for?

Section 36 charges are an annual charge to consent holders (under Section 36[1] of the Resource Management Act 1991) by Horizons. These charges relate to administration and compliance monitoring of resource consents, and research. 
 
Depending on your consent, you may have both compliance and research charges. All consent holders are charged an administration fee.

Elections

Is the role I want to stand for full-time or part-time?

This varies between councils and between roles within a council. Ask your local Electoral Officer about a guide to how many hours a week the role encompasses. Councillors generally pair around 20hrs per week of work with another job. This work might involve council meetings, community visits, workshops, reading council documents or writing newspaper columns.

Elections

How much will I get paid?

The Remuneration Authority determines the salary of the Chair and provides a pool of money for Elected Memberss with a specified minimum remuneration. Each triennium, Council applies weightings to the positions of Committee Chairs and the Deputy Chair to recognise the additional responsibility of those positions. The current annual salaries are: 
Chair: $147,893
Councillor: $49,012

You can see all the councils’ remuneration schedules by clicking on this link to the Local Government Members (2021/22) Determination. More information about how the Remuneration Authority determines pay can be found here.

Section 36

How often will I be charged?

Section 36 charges are levied each year unless the consent you hold is cancelled, expired, or transferred. If your details have changed or you wish to surrender a consent, please contact our Regulatory Administration team on freephone 0508 800 800.

If you have recently sold your business (eg. farm or meat processing plant), the resource consents do not automatically get transferred as part of the normal sale and purchase process. To arrange a transfer, please contact our consents team on freephone 0508 800 800.
 
Please note you will continue to receive the compliance monitoring fee and science and research charges for the resource consents until the transfer is carried out.  

Long-term Plan 2021-31

Why have you increased rates when the cost of living is already so high?

Council is aware that rates increases aren’t ideal and has worked hard to ensure the increase doesn’t exceed what was already forecast, particularly at a time when things such as inflation and insurance costs are high. Unfortunately, these are the things that affect Horizons too.

Property & Rates

Was any consideration given to a lower rates increase?

Yes, councillors always consider affordability. However, they also recognised the Council’s need to continue doing its core business, while accommodating for increasing insurance and inflation costs.

Section 36

What about those people who benefit from this research and monitoring charge but are not charged the Section 36 fee?

All ratepayers, both rural and residential, fund a portion of both the compliance and research charges through the general rating system, including:

  • 70 percent share of the research costs
  • 20 to 35 percent of the compliance costs

Elections

Do I need to be resident in the city, district or region I am standing for?

No, but you must be on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll (anywhere in New Zealand) and provide proof that you are a New Zealand citizen.

Elections

How many offices can I stand for?

You cannot stand for both a regional council and one of its constituent district or city councils or a community board.

Property & Rates

Why is there no prompt payment discount?

While the prompt payment discount was introduced by Council with good intentions, it effectively rewards those ratepayers who can afford to pay in full by the due date at the expense of those who may struggle to pay their bill from time to time.

Elections

I am a serving police officer. Can I stand for council and continue to work as a police officer?

Yes. There are no longer any restrictions on police officers standing for local authority elections, apart from the normal eligibility criteria.

Property & Rates

I can't afford to pay my rates - what can I do?

If you’re having difficulty paying your rates, we may be able to enter into a payment arrangement with you. Please contact the Horizons rates team for all payment arrangement options. If your request for a payment arrangement is successful and the payments don’t default, then a remission of penalty can be applied. Please call us on 0508 700 800 for more information.

If your household is on a low income, you might be eligible for subsidised rates through the government's rates rebate scheme. If you meet the criteria, you can apply for the rebate through your local city or district council.

Property & Rates

How can I start a payment arrangement?

Payment arrangements can be made by emailing us at rates@horizons.govt.nz or giving our friendly Customer Services team a toll-free call on 0508 700 800. Alternatively you can download and complete a direct debit form from our website and post it to us at the following address:
 
Horizons Regional Council
Private Bag 11025
Manawatū Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442

 

Elections

Can I raise campaign funds from donations to offset electoral expenses?

Yes, you can raise funds from donations to help offset your campaign expenses. There is very specific legislation about donations and expenses which you need to abide by. Refer to the Horizons Electoral Officer for more information if needed: craig.grant@horizons.govt.nz 06 952 2863 / 021 2277 083

Elections

How much can I spend on my campaign?

If you stand for more than one position, the amount you can spend is the highest amount for one position. You cannot add positions together to allow you to spend more than the limit. All candidates are required to lodge an electoral donations and expenses return within 55 days after the day on which the successful candidates are declared to be elected (public notice of final results). If a candidate is outside NZ on this day, the return must be filed within 76 days after election result day. If this is not done, the non-return will be advised to the NZ Police. This return needs to be made before a candidate nomination deposit is refunded (if applicable).
 

Constituency Est Resident Population as at 30 June 2020 Expenditure Limit (inc GST)
Horowhenua General 31,000 $20,000
Manawatū-Rangitīkei General 41,800 $30,000
Palmerston North General 80,700 $50,000
Ruapehu General 9,130 $7,000
Tararua General 16,000 $14,000
Whanganui General 39,700 $20,000
Raki Māori 18,280 $14,000
Tonga Māoru 17,560 $14,000

Property & Rates

Is there any other way to get a discount on my rates?

if your household is on a low income, you might be eligible for subsidised rates through the government's rates rebate scheme. If you meet the criteria, you can apply for the rebate through your local city or district council. Another option to avoid having to pay all at once, or incur late payment fees, is to set up a payment plan. Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss this option.

Elections

When is the campaign period?

Election campaigning can start at any time and continue up to and including election day.

Property & Rates

What happens if I don't pay my rates?

All property owners are required by law to pay their rates. The final day for payment for all rates is 30 September 2022. If rates are not paid in full, or a payment arrangement is not in place with Horizons, penalties will be charged on 7 October 2022. Please refer to the back of your rate notice for more information.

Elections

Can people already elected onto council use council resources to campaign?

No, elected members cannot use council resources for their campaigns.

Property & Rates

Why am I being charged a general rate when I wasn't last year?

In previous years Council has separated the general rate from other common rates that are applied to properties based on capital value. Interest made on investments has offset the general rate so that the amount charged was zero.

In an effort to simplify your invoice, Council has decided to include the common rates in the general rate charged. This rate funds part of all of the activities that are of a public benefit, where no other direct source of funding is identified to cover the cost of the activities.

Check out our Rates Explained page to see how each rate dollar is allocated.
 

Elections

Are there any rules about using social media?

Yes. Councils have policies or guidelines for web and social media use related to campaigning. They will not permit council social media pages to be used by anyone (candidates or members of the public) for electioneering or campaigning in the three months before election day. Councils monitor their websites and take down any campaign related posts.

Property & Rates

What is a Targeted Rate?

Targeted rates are for a particular activity or project that benefits specific ratepayers, for example pest plant and pest animal control. These are also referred to as ‘biodiversity rates’.

Property & Rates

What is the transport rate?

Everyone pays a Transport Rate that goes towards land transport planning and road safety. Ratepayers who have public transport and Total Mobility services available in their area contribute to this through the targeted passenger services rate.

Elections

What does ‘authorisation of advertising’ mean?

Election signs are permitted on private property (with the owner’s consent) at any time. The sign must be erected in a stable fashion, not be a hazard to the public or to traffic safety, and must comply with the (local authority district plan/bylaw. 

For State Highways, signs must meet Waka Kotahi/NZTA rules for any signage. 

Depending on your local city / district council’s rules, election signs may be permitted on selected council property/road reserves. On these sites, signs can be erected in accordance with the rules, and generally must be removed by midnight Friday 7 October 2022. Ask the Electoral Officer from your local city/district council for more information about your council’s rules. 

Elections

Where and when can I put up election signs?

Election signs are permitted on private property (with the owner’s consent) at any time. The sign must be erected in a stable fashion, not be a hazard to the public or to traffic safety, and must comply with the (local authority district plan/bylaw. For State Highways, signs must meet Waka Kotahi/NZTA rules for any signage. Depending on your local city / district council’s rules, election signs may be permitted on selected council property/road reserves. On these sites, signs can be erected in accordance with the rules, and generally must be removed by midnight Friday 7 October 2022. Ask the Electoral Officer from your local city/district council for more information about your council’s rules.

Property & Rates

I don't use buses. Why should I pay for them?

Having a bus service available gives people without private transport an option for travel. It also means fewer cars on the road and an environmentally friendly transport solution. It can be a cost-effective way of getting to and from town or work, or between towns.

Property & Rates

What is a river or drainage scheme rate? How are they calculated?

A Scheme Rate varies according to the benefit received from stop banks, pump stations, drainage systems and other flood protection facilities. The higher the risk of flooding to your property, the higher the rate you pay as you receive greater benefit from the protection facilities. If you live further from a waterway, you still pay for the benefits of flood-protected roads, shops and services, but at a lower rate.

Elections

When will election results be known?

Voting closes at midday Saturday 8 October 2022. Progress results (approximately 90 per cent of votes cast) will be known early that afternoon, with preliminary results known on Sunday morning, 9 October 2022. Final results will likely to be declared on Thursday 13 October 2022. All results will be posted on your council’s website.

Property & Rates

Why do I pay a House Flood (HF) rate ($525.63) when my neighbours don’t and we both pay rates towards the Lower Manawatū Scheme (LMS)?

The LMS rating system was adopted in June 2009. Since the rate has been applied, there have been a few changes to ensure we’re rating those affected fairly. These changes include:
 

  • All those rural houses that receive flood protection from the LMS but where the depth of inundation in a 100-year flood would be less than 50 mm have been exempted from the HF rate.
  • The Feilding urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area immediately to the North of Feilding that is presently being developed as an extension to the urban area. By being shifted into the urban category, houses in that extension area will no longer pay the HF rate, but will now pay the lesser Feilding urban (FG) rate.
  • The Palmerston North urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area to the West of the City between Longburn-Rongotea/Shiriffs Road and the Mangaone Stream and between No. 1 Line and the Manawatū River. That area is rapidly developing as an extension to the present City urban area. By being shifted into the urban category, houses in that developing area will no longer pay the HF rate but will now pay the lesser Palmerston North urban (PN) rate.
 
All other rural houses (776 of them) will continue to be rated in the HF category.

Elections

Can I view the electoral roll?

Yes, the electoral roll will be open for public inspection at your city or district council’s offices and libraries from 15 July 2022 to 12 August 2022.

Property & Rates

What is an Uniform Annual Charge (UAC)?

This is a fixed rate applied to ratepayers who benefit from a specific type of work. It is not assessed on capital value like the general rate. Uniform annual charges include SLUI ($40.42) per Separately Used or Inhabited Part of a rating unit (SUIP) throughout the region, Tōtara Reserve our only regional park ($0.60) per Palmerston North and per Manawatū properties and environmental initiatives ($31.85) on each SUIP throughout the region.
 
Uniform = SUIP
A SUIP is a Separately Used or Inhabited Part of a rating unit and is only recognised when there is a unique valuation number for that part of the rating unit. A SUIP could be applied to a property more than once in a situation such as having multiple dwellings.

Elections

Can I help people vote or collect their voting documents to send in?

No, candidates or their assistants should not collect voting documents from electors. Each elector should post or deliver their own voting document to the Electoral Officer. It is an offence (carrying a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted) to interfere in any way with an elector with the intention of influencing or advising the elector as to how he or she should vote. Candidates and their assistants should be mindful of this particularly if campaigning occurs in facilities such as rest homes or hospitals.

Property & Rates

What is a Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)?

The UAGC funds a large range of activities that benefit every ratepayer equally. It is a fixed rate that is applied to every rateable property in the region. The UAGC in 2022-23 is set at $54.00 per SUIP.

Elections

What is the election date?

The elections are by postal vote. Voting documents will be delivered from Friday 16 September 2022 to Wednesday 21 September 2022. Voters can return their vote anytime from when they receive their voting documents. Votes must be received by the Electoral Officer by the close of voting on midday Saturday 8 October 2022

Elections

We own a business in your area and pay rates, but we don’t live in your area – do we get a say in the local elections?

Yes, subject to being eligible to become enrolled as a ratepayer elector and becoming enrolled. Contact your local city or district council.

Property & Rates

What are Council’s areas of focus for the 2022-23 year?

Our priority areas continue to be freshwater, climate change, biodiversity, and making our data and information accessible to our communities. Much of this work includes progressing:
 

  • The implementation of the National Policy Statement and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater;
  • dedicated work programmes around our biodiversity iconic sitesfunding for community biodiversity projects, and working alongside landowners to care for biodiversity;
  • implementing Horizons’ Climate Action Plan and advancing the regional Joint Climate Action Plan alongside our iwi and territorial local authority partners.

Elections

I turn 18 on Election Day. Can I vote?

Yes, but you need to make sure you have enrolled which you can do provisionally from the age of 17 and it automatically changes when you turn 18. You will also need to apply for a special vote. You can do both if you call your local city or district council.

Property & Rates

Who decides Horizons' activities?

Horizons has certain responsibilities mandated from Central Government. Council also actively consults with our communities through the Long-term Plan and Annual Plan processes to ensure we represent the wishes of our ratepayers, and utilise ratepayers’ money in ways the community will benefit the most from.

Property & Rates

How do I contact my local councillor directly?

Councillors’ contact information is available in the About section of our website.

Elections

I own a property in the region but it is not my fulltime residence. How do I get on the Ratepayer Electoral Roll?

You will need to contact your local city or district council to get on the Ratepayer Electoral Roll.

Elections

I am on the Māori electoral roll, does this affect who I can vote for?

Yes, if you are on the Māori roll you can only vote for those standing for a Māori constituency.

Property & Rates

Is there any provision for new bus services?

In the current financial year there is a provision for improved bus services in Whanganui, which was signalled in our 2021-31 Long-Term Plan. $170,000 has been budgeted for these improvements, which will be funded via a targeted rate covering the Whanganui urban area. Fifty-one percent of the total cost will be funded by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency.
 

Elections

I am a student and spend my time in different places. Where should I enrol?

You should enrol where you spend the greater part of your time.

Property & Rates

What are Infrastructure Climate Resilience projects?

In 2020 Central Government announced $26.9 million of climate resilience funding for Horizon. This goes toward four projects in:
 

  • Foxton: enlargement and upgrades to drains, culverts and stopbanks along the eastern side of the town, and diverting floodwater away from Purcell Street and into the Whirokino network.
  • Lower Manawatū: raising/rebuilding stopbanks, replacing the Kopane Bridge and constructing the Burke's Pump Station.
  • Palmerston North: upgrades to current stopbanks and replacing aging assets, along with new work to enhance public access to the Manawatū River and Mangaone Stream.
  • Rangitīkei: building resilience as it relates to the Rangitīkei River, specifically the reach from the Bulls Bridge to the sea.
 
Find out more in the Flood Protection section of the website.

Property & Rates

What are Jobs for Nature projects?

Horizons has three Jobs for Nature projects, which include further riparian planting and stream fencing across the region to improve freshwater, fish passage remediation to enhance indigenous fish populations, and Lake Horowhenua water quality interventions. The government has given us $18.4 million towards a total cost of $27 million to deliver the three Jobs for Nature projects over the next three years. Council has committed $4.3 million in funding, with the balance of $4.3 million coming from landowner contributions.

Elections

I am a New Zealand Māori, do I need to enrol on the Māori roll?

Not necessarily. If you are enrolling for the first time you can decide whether you want to go on the Māori Electoral Roll or the General Electoral Roll by signing the appropriate panel on the Parliamentary Elector Enrolment form. However, if you have already made that choice you will have to wait until the next Māori Option period to change, which occurs following the next census, likely in 2023. The last Māori Option period was in 2018.

Elections

How do I know whether I am enrolled?

You can check your enrolment status on www.vote.nz. The Electoral Commission will be undertaking a roll update campaign in early July 2022 for the Parliamentary Electoral Roll which forms the basis of our roll for the local authority election. If you do not receive a letter in the post during late June/early July 2022, the chances are you are not enrolled or your details are incorrect.

Property & Rates

What is a Long-term Plan?

A Long-term Plan sets the priorities for the next 10 years, as well as which rates are required each year to fund the activities proposed. This may include reviewing original proposals or adding new ones.

Property & Rates

What is Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future?

The management of freshwater remains a priority for Horizons, with a particular focus on implementing central government’s Essential Freshwater package. This package includes a revised National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), new National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-FW), and Resource Management Act s360 regulations for stock exclusion.
 
Horizons is referring to this work as Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future, which in addition to implementing the new rules and regulations gives consideration to the non-regulatory programmes we offer. We’ve already introduced many elements of the NES-FW requirements that have stringent timelines and new rules, many of which have already come into effect. The NPS-FM changes require an increase in the level of service in our policy, science, and regulatory areas to enable us to deliver a revised One Plan by 2024 (The One Plan is Horizons’ resource management planning document).
 
This increase in work equates to $752,000 or $1.16 per $100,000 of capital value in Year 1. As part of the NPS-FM we will be asking our communities and tangata whenua to help shape this policy alongside us.

Elections

How do I enrol to vote in these elections?

You need to complete an enrolment form for this.
You can either:

  • Download or enrol online here.
  • Ring 0800 36 76 56 to arrange for a form to be sent to you in the mail.
  • Send your name and address to Free text 3676 for a form to sent to you in the mail.
  • If you own a property in a district and it is not your main residence you may be able to enrol as a Ratepayer elector. (Refer to your local city or district council).

Property & Rates

What is the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI)?

Our region’s problems with hill country erosion were sorely exposed during the February 2004 storm event. In response, representatives from our region’s communities and stakeholder organisations have joined together and formed the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), which seeks to implement whole farm plans specifically tailored to manage each area of highly erodible land. The aim is to help insure against having to recover from the effects of massive-scale hill erosion in the future. This assists in preventing the silting up of rivers downstream, helping to reduce flooding, and improving water quality.

Elections

Is it a postal vote and will I be sent my voting documents in the mail?

All local authority elections will be conducted by postal vote. Voting documents will be delivered in the mail between Friday 16 September 2022 and Wednesday 21 September 2022.

Elections

I got my voting documents, but my partner didn’t receive theirs.

Contact your city or district council Electoral Officer.

Property & Rates

What is the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord?

Led by Horizons, the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord brings together leaders from community, industry, interest groups, iwi and local government in their efforts to improve the state of the Manawatū River and its catchment. It enables groups to work in partnership with one another, sets clear goals and provides accountability around clean-up actions and activities. Horizons contributes $410,000 per year to this clean-up effort under the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord. This is funded by ratepayers in the Manawatū Catchment. More information about this work can be found at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.

Elections

I didn’t get my voting documents, so I called and got a special vote. Now I have two documents. Which one should I use?

Use the original and destroy the special vote. The reason for this is that processing an original voting document is much simpler than processing a special vote (a special vote takes a lot more time and more importantly the elector may not have completed the declaration correctly which would make the special vote invalid), hence our advice/preference that the ordinary vote be returned.

Property & Rates

What and where is Tōtara Reserve?

Tōtara Reserve is a regional park in the Manawatū District that sits in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges in the Pohangina Valley. It is used by many people as a recreational area and is a valuable piece of native bush (and the only regional park) in the Horizons Region. We took over management from Manawatū District Council in 2012 and continue to enhance its forest and wildlife, and improve camping facilities, tracks and signage.

Elections

I received voting documents for (children, parent) and have Power of Attorney for them can I vote for them?

No – Power of Attorney does not apply to voting on behalf of that person.

Property & Rates

What is Accelerate25?

Accelerate25 is the implementation programme which has grown from the Central Government commissioned Regional Growth Study. The study identified a number of opportunities and key enablers to help realise our region’s economic potential. The aim of Accelerate25 is to grow our regional prosperity between now and 2025 and an Action Plan to unlock the opportunities. To find out more about Accelerate25 visit www.accelerate25.co.nz.

Property & Rates

What is the Capital Connection?

Passenger rail services, such as the Capital Connection, between the Horizons and Greater Wellington Regions is included in the transport passenger services.

Elections

I received voting documents for (children, parent) and have Power of Attorney for them. What should I do with the documents?

If they are overseas, you could airmail them to the person or destroy them if that is not practicable. If they are for an elderly parent who is unable to vote, please destroy them by ripping/cutting them up.

Elections

I received voting documents that do not belong to me and I don’t know these people or where they have gone.

Write GNA (Gone No Address) on the envelope and put them back in the mail.

Property & Rates

Why do we need freshwater management?

Freshwater is a high priority for both central government, and our communities. The freshwater and partnership programme aims to protect and enhance water quality and aquatic habitat including through partnership with landowners, iwi and external agencies. Much of this work includes riparian planning and stream fencing, as well as repairs to fish passages.

Property & Rates

Why am I paying for drinking water?

To ensure the relevant agencies meet their requirement regarding the protection of drinking water quality, Horizons is working in consultation with local public health officers and territorial authorities to improve overall management of drinking water supplies. The cost to the ratepayer is $1.05 (GST inclusive).

Elections

What is that barcode that I can see through the return envelope or on the front of the voting document?

It is a legal requirement to scan the barcode number to mark the electoral roll that you have voted so we can ensure that we do not receive two votes from the same person.

Elections

How do you ensure the secrecy of my vote?

Envelopes containing a voting document cannot be opened until there is a JP present. The JP is required to sign off that the processes used by the Electoral Officer met the legal requirements. The voter’s name is not on the voting document. When the envelope is opened the only thing the Electoral Officer is looking for is that the vote for each election is valid. This means that for FPP they are making sure that the voter’s intention is clear and they have not ticked or marked more than the number of candidates than there are vacancies.

Property & Rates

Is Te Ao Nui owned by Horizons?

It is owned by MWRC Holdings Ltd, which is owned by Horizons. Having investments allows Council to reduce our reliance on general rating revenues to fund our work programmes. Horizons’ Group has investments in shares, commercial property, and fixed-term cash. Horizons uses its 100 per cent-owned holding company MWRC Holdings Limited as a vehicle for managing several investments.

Property & Rates

I live in the Rangitīkei District and I want to understand what I am paying for to get rid of Old Man's Beard?

Old Man’s Beard has been identified as a particular problem by the local Rangitīkei community and as result a ‘Differentiated Uniform Annual Charge of $34.21 has been applied to properties over four hectares in size and a $8.96 charge for those under four hectares. In areas where Old Man’s Beard has become a problem we work with relevant community groups, and aim to stop it spreading further. Outside these areas we will try to eradicate it whenever it appears.

Elections

Do I have to vote? I don’t know any of these candidates

No you don’t have to vote. You also don’t have to vote for all candidates or for all elections. But your vote is important because the people elected will be responsible for making decisions about what happens in your community for the next three years.
To help you get to know about the candidates:

  • There is a candidate profile booklet that comes out with the voting documents in which there is a photo and a statement from candidates. This information may also be available on the Council website.
  • Candidates may have their own website page, social media page(s), advertise in local newspapers or send out information to letterboxes in your area.
  • Local newspaper(s) are likely to cover information about the election.

Elections

Do I have to vote for all the candidates for any issue? If I don’t vote for all the candidates or all the issues on my voting document, will all my votes be informal?

Under FPP you can vote for as many candidates as you want but not more than the number of positions available on the voting document. So if you are electing five councillors then you can vote for up to five candidates. Remember, for FPP you tick the candidates you want to elect. With STV you can vote for all or as many candidates as you wish but these must be in order of your preference and no number can be repeated. Remember for STV, you rank the candidates you want to elect from number 1 onwards. You can decide not to vote for one or more of the different elections on your voting document. This does not invalidate all your other votes.

Property & Rates

Why does Horizons put out a rates brochure with the invoice?

We believe it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what your rates pay for and the benefits you receive, and we’ve had feedback that more communication is desired. Every council in the country does this and it’s part of our philosophy of being transparent about what we do. We encourage you to recycle this brochure if you don’t want to keep it for future reference.

Property & Rates

I don't want my name and address showing on your Rate Information Database (RID).

We can send you a name suppression form to complete so we can remove your details. You can also download a copy of the suppression form. This suppression needs to be applied for each year. Please note that no names or postal addresses show in the rates search tool on our website.

Elections

Do I have to post my voting document back?

You can post it but make sure you have them in the mail by Tuesday 4 October 2022 to make sure it gets back to us in time (by 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022) However, you can also deliver to the voting boxes which are at your local city or district council until 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022)

Elections

I have lost my return envelope.

You can use an envelope of your own and put the return address and Freepost number on it OR contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer.

Property & Rates

I have a media enquiry about Horizons rates. Who can I contact?

Please email the communications team at communications@horizons.govt.nz and someone will be in touch shortly.

Elections

I am on the Unpublished Parliamentary roll and I want a special vote please.

Contact the Electoral Officer at your local city or district council.

Elections

I didn’t receive my voting pack, how do I obtain a special vote?

Contact the Electoral Officer at your local city or district council.

Elections

I spoiled my voting documents / I have made a mistake on my documents. What can I do?

If you can amend it so that your voting intention is clear, then do so and initial the changes. OR contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer so they can issue you with another voting document.

Elections

Where can I have a special vote?

Contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer.

Elections

I am going away and will not be here when the voting documents are posted out.

Contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer.

Elections

My husband’s voting document and mine are different. He has more/less things to vote for. His list of candidates is different to mine?

Horizons Regional Council is using random name order on the voting documents. This could explain why the list looks different. Horizons Regional Council has established Maori constituencies. If you and your husband are not on the same electoral roll (Māori/general) then this may explain why the voting documents are different. If not then it is something that should be passed to the Electoral Officer.

Elections

I have received two voting documents

Contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer.

Elections

Do all the staff working on the election know who I voted for?

No, your vote remains secret under the required roll scrutiny and counting procedures.

Elections

What happens to all the voting documents after the elections?

They are delivered to the District Court and kept for 21 days so that the Court can access them should there be any application for recount or petition for inquiry. After 21 days, the court is responsible for destroying them.

Elections

When will we know the results of the election?

Progress and preliminary results will be announced as soon as possible after 12 noon on Saturday 8 October 2022. The official results will be announced when the final count is complete and special votes have been checked which will be between Thursday 13 October 2022 – Wednesday 19 October 2022

Elections

How will I find out if I have been elected?

Candidates Will be advised as soon as possible after progress and preliminary results are known. This may be by email or phone. The Voters Progress and preliminary results will be released to the media and placed on our website as soon as possible after noon on Saturday 8 October 2022.– www.horizons.govt.nz

Elections

What do I need to do if I want to challenge the results of the election?

Contact the Horizons Electoral Officer.

Elections

When do elected members take up their roles?

Elected members take up office the day after the official result has been declared by public notice. However, they cannot act until they have sworn the oath of office which is usually at the first meeting of council. This first meeting is usually held as soon as practicable after the final election results are known.

Elections

Who are elected members responsible to?

Ultimately the elected members’ final responsibility is to the local community. The Minister of Local Government and the Auditor– General do have a role in ensuring that councils follow the law. 

Elections

Who are elected members responsible to?

Ultimately the elected members’ final responsibility is to the local community. The Minister of Local Government and the Auditor– General do have a role in ensuring that councils follow the law.

Elections

How many elected members are there?

Horizons Regional Council will have 14 Elected Members as below:

  • Horowhenua-Kairanga (2)
  • Manawatū-Rangitikei (2)
  • Palmerston North (4)
  • Ruapehu (1)
  • Tararua (1)
  • Whanganui (2)
  • Raki Māori (1)
  • Tonga Māori (1)

Elections

I have a complaint about electoral signage.

The signs don’t have the required authorisation on them.
The signs have been pulled over.
The signs are bigger than they should be.
In what locations can signs be erected?
When can they be erected and when must they be pulled down?
Contact your local city or district council Electoral Officer for that Council’s Signage Policy, or the Horizons Electoral Officer.