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).

Section 36

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

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 investigate this matter.

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.

Please note, that we do not run Camp Rangi Woods, the cabin site next to the larger of the tenting sites (Kereru). This is run through a trust that Horizons is not involved in. Jude Mitchell is the contact for Camp Rangi Woods, and can be contacted on 06 329 4753.

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

 

Will items left out of this year’s consultation be a priority next year?

Council are set to develop their 2021-31 Long-term Plan next year. This will involve setting priorities for the next 10 years, as well as what rates are required each year to fund the activities proposed.

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.
 

Property & Rates

Is the 8.4 per cent increase the same for everyone?

No. It is important to note that the 8.4 per cent average rate increase does not mean the same increase for everyone. This is because parts of our region, such as Tararua, Rangitīkei and Ruapehu, have recently had changes in property valuations. It is also important to note that other areas in our region may see a negative rate 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 to your neighbour’s or your neighbouring districts.

Property & Rates

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

No. There is a rates rebate available through your local council and you can avoid any late payment fees by setting up a payment plan, so you don’t have to pay all at once.

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. 

Will I receive a response to my Annual Plan submission and if so when could I expect this?

You will receive confirmation that your submission has been received. After deliberations you will receive a written response with the outcome. This can be expected around late May/early June.

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).

Section 36

Why do I have to pay Section36 research charges?

Council has determined that consent holders receive some private benefit from the research that is carried out.

The individual compliance fee (separately charged) covers the costs of monitoring a holder’s individual consent.

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.

This research is essential for our many regional organisations, farms and other industries, all of which are dependent on this information.  Further, 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.

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.

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.
 

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 (FAPC) 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 FAPC is charged at the same time as environmental monitoring and research charges as consent monitoring for these sites is ongoing.
 
The fixed annual preliminary charge accounts for costs associated with the first compliance assessment, with any further time to undertake the total annual monitoring activity 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 $36 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. This includes maintaining consent and compliance information, reviewing annual charges and ensuring information on our databases and files is accurate and current.

This charge is the same for all categories of resource consent and will apply to all those consents that are to be, or are likely to be, monitored as part of Council’s compliance programme. This charge applies to those consents that are subject to a Section 36 monitoring charge. Consent holders that do not receive a Section 36 monitoring charge will not receive the administration charge. The administration charge will be invoiced alongside the Section 36 monitoring charge process.

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.

Why is my proposed rate increase more than the 4.72 per cent listed?

The increase is the average across the whole region and will differ between properties. Some of the new projects proposed will only have rate increases applied to the areas of benefit, such as the Foxton relief pipeline project.

 

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.
 

Property & Rates

What are Infrastructure Climate Resilience (aka shovel ready) projects?

In 2020 Central Government announced $26.9 million of climate resilience funding for Horizon. This goes toward 4 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: Since the devasting floods of 2004 Horizons has been investing on behalf of ratepayers to increase flood protection for the lower Manawatū, including raising/rebuilding stopbanks, replacing the Kopane. Bridge and constructing the Burke's Pump Station. The money received from central government will help continue this work as the incurred through investing money into improvements was limiting the work we could do.
  • Palmerston North: This expenditure is mostly focused on upgrades to current stopbanks and replacing aging assets, along with new work which will enhance public access to the Manawatū River and Mangaone Stream.
  • Rangitīkei: This project also focuses on resilience as it relates to the Rangitīkei River, specifically the reach from the Bulls Bridge to the sea.
Read more about the Infrastructure Climate Resilience projects.

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, remediation to fish passages 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 3 years. Council has committed $4.3 million with the balance of $4.3 million coming from landowner contributions.

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. 

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.
 

Why have the insurance costs risen by $300,000?

The New Zealand insurance market has entered a hardening phase with premium increases common across all classes and, in the case of the property segment, increases are accompanied by restrictions in capacity for locations in higher risk earthquake zones. Pressure on the profitability of local insurers is the main driver, but options may be available from overseas insurance markets if required. Obtaining natural disaster cover for earthquake prone buildings and buildings noted as at risk by councils remains difficult and expensive. In addition to the seismic issues raised above, insurers are also looking closely at certain types of risks where there have been recent significant global losses. Recent US catastrophe losses will place further pressure on reinsurance pricing and we expect a flow on to New Zealand insurers.
 
The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act brought significant change to the NZ Fire Service. The legislation repealed the two Acts that previously governed fire services in New Zealand and introduced a single New Zealand fire service called Fire and Emergency New Zealand or FENZ. The cost of the changes is being passed on to individuals and companies who buy insurance and the impact is significant. As part of the transition to the new regime, the Government increased the Fire Service Levy rate by 40 per cent from 1 July 2017.
 
Professional Indemnity insurance for some professions such as design/construction, have experienced increased claims (frequency and severity) in recent months. Accordingly, insurers are becoming more selective in terms of individual accounts and classes they wish to continue to underwrite and on what premium/policy terms and conditions.
 
Motor premiums are going up, along with minimum excesses, as insurers move to bring premiums in line with these growing claims costs due to increasing claims frequency and claims severity.

Section 36

Why are there two 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).

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.
 

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.

General

How do I contact the Councillors?

Our Councillors contact details are available here on our website.

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.

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.
 

Where can I see what my rates bill looks like?

To see what your rates bill may look like if the proposed 2020-21 Annual Plan is adopted, please enter your address in our rates database. You will see two columns - the first is your current rates information, and the second is what your rates would look like for 2020-21 should Council choose to adopt its proposed Plan. 
 

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. 

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.
 

Property & Rates

What happened to the work that was not completed during Covid?

Last year Council chose to adopt a one per cent rate increase rather than the proposed 5.95 per cent to reduce the strain on our communities through Covid. This means much of the work that was put on hold is now included in 2021-22 financial year, increasing Council’s expenditure.

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.

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. 
 

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. 

What was removed to take the average rate increase from 5.95 to 1.0 per cent?

  1. Most of the increases in the proposed 5.95% have been removed and a few funded differently. This includes: 
  • Additional climate change resourcing, as well as increased capacity in emergency management and river management.
  • Increased capacity in policy and iwi engagement to address the anticipated influx of change coming from central government.
  • Additional freshwater resource to assist with field monitoring and to provide science advice to support policy development.
  • Increased lake monitoring and restoration activities to support increased recreational suitability for Whanganui Lakes. 
  1. Staff salary increases, inflation costs, fuel increases have been removed.
  2. Loan repayment periods being extended for the One Plan and parts of River Management.
  3. Capex usage this year and next have been revisited, lowering loan and depreciation costs.
  4. A range of savings have been found across the organisation, for River Management in particular.
  5. Some reorganisation of budgets has occurred to incorporate priority spend, predominately offset by savings.
Capital Expenditure for the Lake Horowhenua Boat ramp has been added with a repayment plan from the Lake Horowhenua Restoration rate.
 

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.

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 team leader of 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
 

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.

 

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
 

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 2019 - 30 June 2020. These invoices are issued annually, midway through the invoiced period (historically mid to late January).

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.

 

What if I want to have my say on areas that Council is not asking for feedback on?

You can have your say on any of Council’s business. However, Council is making active decisions on the projects that have been highlighted in the proposed 2020-21 Annual Plan summary document. You can provide your thoughts or feedback to Horizons at any time, it does not have to be during an Annual Plan process.

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.

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

Property & Rates

What is Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Indicators?

A new website, Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Indicators (MWRI), has been created to reflect the region’s councils’ collaboration and initiatives underway to help with recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. Horizons and the region’s seven local councils are working with numerous community and business groups, and organisations and agencies in the recovery. We are working together to ensure we have the information and knowledge needed to make decisions and seize opportunities that will see our region not just survive and revive but thrive. A big part of our collaboration is finding ways to stimulate our region’s social and economic wellbeing. This work includes establishing a Regional Economic Taskforce, Economic Impact Assessments, and ongoing reporting, as well as submitting over 88 shovel ready projects worth $1.05 billion that have the prospect of creating over 15,000 local jobs to central government for funding consideration.

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 have 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.

Find out more about Oranga Wai Our Freshwater Future.

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.
 
 

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.  

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.

What amount will my rates go up should all expected increases are adopted?

The proposed rates by ratepayer and property are available here. Rates can be searched with either the address or valuation reference.

Section 36

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

Cleaner, safer water both now and for the future. 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. 

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.

Extensive monitoring is undertaken by the consents monitoring team and other Horizons staff of activities associated with:
•    District Council, farm and industry water discharges
•    District Council, farm and industry water 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.

Section 36

What are these 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.

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. 

Is there any provision for new bus services?

In this proposed Annual Plan there is no provision for new bus services, other than a proposal to add an around Feilding town service, as well as enhancements to the Feilding to Palmerston North commuter service, in the second half of 2020-21. Should the Passenger Transport Committee approve this proposal, additional costs of approximately $36,000 will be incurred for operating costs and one-off set-up cost. However, this expenditure has not been budgeted for in the Plan.
 

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

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.

Property & Rates

What is this Infrastructure Insurance Reserve Rate and why am I no longer being charged for paying it?

In 2013, Council established the Infrastructure Insurance Reserve to initiate a programme of self-insurance for parts of our river and drainage scheme assets. This reserve balance is currently $4.6 million, which affords Council cover for a single significant emergency event, resulting in the need to replace assets. As such, Council has decided not to rate the $500,000 targeted rate from this year.
  
The need to rate for this reserve will be reviewed each year during the annual plan process. Every three years during our Long-term Plan process we will also review the need to hold onto the reserve balance.
 

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.
 

Is the 1% increase the same for everyone?

No. It is important to note that a one per cent average rate increase does not mean the same increase for everyone. This is because parts of our region, such as Whanganui, Horowhenua and Manawatū, have recently had changes in property valuations. It is 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 means your rates bill may differ to your neighbour’s or your neighbouring districts.
 

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
 

Section 36

I never use my water take so why are you charging me Section 36 charges?

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.

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

How much have my charges changed since last year?

The fixed fee ($30.63) is a marginal increase from last year and the charge per cubic metre taken (50 cents) is 2 cents higher than last year.  The charges for hydro schemes have also risen slightly.

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. 

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. 
 

I’m having trouble paying my rates due to COVID-19 developments, what do I do?

If you anticipate having difficulty paying your rates due to COVID-19, please get in touch with our rates team to discuss payment options. You can contact the rates via email at rates@horizons.govt.nz or call the welfare line at 0800 725 678.

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.
 

Property & Rates

Where is Tōtara Reserve?

Tōtara Reserve is a regional park 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 (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.

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.

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

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.  

Section 36

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

The charges are set out in the Annual  Plan 2019-20.  All holders of permits for surface and groundwater takes are charged a $30.63 fixed fee, plus a rate of $0.50 (50 cents) per cubic metre of the authorised maximum daily (not annual) water take volume (as documented in the resource consent).

NOTE: 1. Charges in the Annual Plan are GST excluded.

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.
 

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.

Ratepayers can refer to the Rates Explained brochure to see how each rate dollar is allocated.
 

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

Customer Services will have these on hand at each office location and can post a form out to you.
This form will also be available at http://haveyoursay.horizons.govt.nz from 25 February - 25 March 2019.

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.
 

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.
 

I don't understand why I've received the Annual Plan consultation document. Do I have to do anything with this?

Each year Council goes through a process to set rates for the next rating year. This includes anything new or different from the Long-term Plan that was consulted in 2018 this sets the basis for our proposed budget and rate increase. This is then sent out for public consultation for any ratepayer in the Horizons Region to have their say. This is the time for you to have your say and be heard about what is in the consultation document.

Property & Rates

Why do I pay a House Flood (HF) rate ($482.96) when my neighbours don’t and we both pay rates towards the Lower Manawatū Scheme?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Palmerston North urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area to the West of the City between Longburn-Rongotea/Shiriiffs 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 (777 of them) will continue to be rated in the HF category.
 

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.

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.
 

Section 36

How much of the research are my Section 36 research and monitoring charges 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 $6,028 million.  Thirty (30%) percent of the cost of water quantity monitoring and research ($2.509 million) is funded by consent holders through the research charges, with the balance (70%) being funded through the General Rate.

Section 36

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

 

The charges are set out in the 2019-20 Annual Plan, shown in column 2 of  the table below:

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

Type and Quantity 2019-20

Annual Fee
Benign Discharge Nil
Discharge to Land <25 176
Discharge to Land>25 to 50 235
Discharge to Land >50 to 100 351
Discharge to Land >100 to 200 469
Discharge to Land >200 to 1,000 1,564
Discharge to Land >1,000 to 10,000 1,759
Discharge to Land 10,000+ 1,955
Discharge to Water <25 352
Discharge to Water>25 to 50 469
Discharge to Water >50 to 100 704
Discharge to Water >100 to 200 938
Discharge to Water >200 to 1,000 3,127
Discharge to Water >1,000 to 10,000 3,518
Discharge to Water 10,000+ 3,909
Unspecified Volume Discharge 1,955
Land Fill – High impact 3,909
Land Fill – Medium impact 586
Land Fill – Low impact 195


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) 2019-20

Annual Fee
AFFCO Feilding 4,948
DB Breweries 9,178
Fonterra - Longburn 3,365
Fonterra - Pahiatua 1,692
Horowhenua District Council 7,990
Manawatū District Council 24,995
NZ Defence Force 7,072
Palmerston North City Council 9,159
Rangitīkei District Council 26,705
Riverlands Manawatu 4,157
Ruapehu District Council 28,594
Scanpower 5,093
Winstone Pulp 4,840

 

 

Additional Monitoring at Site 2019-20

Annual Fee
Tararua District Council As per contract

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.

Property & Rates

Why have the E3 & E4 differentials on the Rangitīkei River Scheme increased so much?

The reference farm property for these rates has been amalgamated with several other farms, which has increased its capital value significantly. This combined with the revaluation for the Rangitīkei District (30 per cent increase for rural properties) has resulted in a large increase in the area factor used in calculating these differentials. The area factor is calculated by dividing the total capital value by the total area of the reference property.

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.

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

The results, along with a summary of comments will be provided to councillors, prior to them making their final decision and adoption of the Annual Plan at their 26 May meeting.

Are ratepayers able to have their submissions heard?

There are no hearings this year. Ratepayers are welcome to get in touch with their local regional councillors.

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

What are the Section 36 invoices for?

These charges relate to resource consents for both research and compliance monitoring.  There is a covering letter, containing two sections:

  1. Compliance monitoring charges 
  2. Research charges 

 Depending on the nature of the consented activity, one or both parts of the letter may apply.  You may have both compliance and research charges.

Section 36

How often will I get this Section 36 invoice?

The charge is levied each year unless the consent is cancelled, or expires, or is transferred.  

Please note that if you have recently sold your business (eg. farm or meat processing plant), the resource consents do not automatically get transferred. To arrange this, please contact our consents team on freephone 0508 800 800. You will continue to receive the compliance monitoring fee for the resource consents until the transfer is carried out. 
 

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.

 

Buses & Transport

Are the buses wheelchair accessible?

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

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 total of 70 per cent of the costs through the general rating system.

Property & Rates

Why is Horizons' General Rate based on Capital Value?

General rates of regional councils 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:

  • 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              Land Value
  • Rangitīkei District Council            Capital Value
  • Part Waitomo                                Capital Value
  • Part Taupō                                     Capital Value
  • Part Stratford                                 Capital Value

Property & Rates

Why haven't I received a rates bill?

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

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.
 

Property & Rates

Why does Horizons put out a rates brochure?

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

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 do I pay a House Flood rate ($476.79) when my neighbours don't and we both pay rates towards the Lower Manawatū Scheme?

Since the LMS rating system was adopted in June 2009, Council has received a number of submissions in respect of the fairness of application of the HF category rate. Since the rate has been applied, there have been a few changes to ensure we are rating fairly to those affected. These changes include:
 
1. 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.
 
2. 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.
 
3. The Palmerston North urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area to the West of the City between Longburn-Rongotea/Shiriiffs 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 (777 of them) will continue to be rated in the HF category.

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 or district councils are responsible for community services in your area, such as road maintenance, libraries, recreation areas and land use.

Horizons are your Regional Council and manage the natural resources, such as land, air and water, across several city and district council territories. We are also responsible for emergency management in conjunction with Civil Defence, and provide public transport services to many of our communities.

We have been sending out rates directly to ratepayers since 2002. Prior to 2002, 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.

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).

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.

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

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.

Property & Rates

What is the meaning of Classifications?

Classifications are the codes given to the descriptions in the rating lines on your invoice, shown on page 3. Rate classification codes are available to download here.

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.

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.

Property & Rates

What is meant by equalisation?

District and city councils revalue at different times across the region. These revaluations affect the capital value of properties and, hence how much general rate they pay. Each year Horizons obtains an equalisation certificate from Quotable Value that shows the value of all districts as at the last revaluation date. This information is used to equally spread the rates allocated by capital value among the districts.
 
Revaluations
All properties in the region are re-valued on a 3-yearly cycle. If your property has had a revalue this year it will mean the value on which your property is rated will have changed and this will have affected the rates you pay on a capital value as properties do not uniformly move in value within a district.
 

Property & Rates

What is an Uniform Annual Charge (UAC)?

These are 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 ($39.36) per SUIP throughout the region, Tōtara Reserve our only regional park ($0.58) per Palmerston North and per Manawatū properties and environmental initiatives ($30.11) 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.

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 a Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)?

The UAGC funds a large range of activities from which every ratepayer benefits equally. It is a fixed rate that is applied to every rateable property in the region. The UAGC in 2021-22 is set at $44.35 per SUIP.

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 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 rate you pay as you receive greater benefit from the protection. 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.

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 24 September 2021. If rates are not paid in full, or a payment arrangement is not in place with Horizons, penalties will be charged at the end of October. Please refer to the back of your rate notice for more information.

Property & Rates

I live in the Whanganui District, why have my rates increased so significantly?

Horizons Regional Council approved the average of a one per cent increase across the region through the adoption of the 2020-21 Annual Plan at their Regional Council meeting on 26 May 2020.
 
This followed a few weeks of seeking feedback from our communities after revising our Annual Plan to recognise potential post-pandemic social and economic impact to the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.
 
The one per cent is made up from amplified insurance costs, passenger transport and total mobility inflation costs, as well as lower than expected income from interest returns.
 
Horizons rates are calculated based on a property’s capital value.
 
Individual rate demands may differ to the average one per cent rate increase. This is because each district has a different set of valuations on which rates are calculated, with the timing of revaluations differing across the region.
 
Even if Council had adopted a zero rate percentage, most Whanganui (and Horowhenua and Manawatū) ratepayers would still have experienced rate increases due to the recent revaluations carried out in these districts.
 
Each rates invoice is made up of a combination of charges. Uniform Charges are the same amount for every ratepayer across the region and include things such as Environmental Initiatives and Drinking Water monitoring and research.
 
Other Common Rates are the same activity charged for every ratepayer but at slightly different rates for each district. These are based on a property’s capital value.
 
Finally, there are property specific rates that are charged based on the type, size and location of the property and are a combination of capital value, targeted and area based charges that can differ from property to property and neighbour to neighbour.
 
On average an estimated 60% of the total rates invoice is based on capital value, however again this varies for every ratepayer within the region.
 
Other factors that can effect a rates invoice include specific district rating inputs, such as an urban passenger transport rate, or special river protection rates. For example, in Whanganui this could include river management flood protection schemes such as the Lower Whanganui River or Matarawa Scheme, passenger transport services including total mobility services, pest plant and animal control, biodiversity enhancement, and infrastructure insurance.
 
We recognise that setting rates based on capital value is not ideal, however that is the blunt tool that we have inherited. Ideally, all of our seven districts would be revalued at the same time to avoid one or two districts being affected more than its neighbours in any one year. Unfortunately, QV do not have the capacity to do this.
 
The reality is, on a whole, Whanganui property values have increased. These properties won’t be revalued for another three years so, for the next two years, Whanganui rates will be assessed on this year’s capital value.
 
Residential property capital values in Whanganui increased on average by 56%. Land values for the same properties increased on average by 93%.
 
We also recognise the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. This was a significant consideration back in March when we were about to go out with a proposed 5.49 per cent average rate increase. Government’s rebate for our rates is available through city and district councils.
 
In terms of discount for services unavailable during lockdown, Horizons was still functioning – this included operating the Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management Emergency Coordination Centre, our environmental data monitoring and reporting, flood protection management, and essential services such as passenger transport and mobility services.
 

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.

Property & Rates

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

Horizons can send you a name suppression form to complete so we can remove your details. This needs to be applied for each year. Please note that no names or postal address show on the RID which is the rates database on our website. You can also download a copy of the suppression form here.

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, work or between towns.
 
In 2020 Horizons did a mid-term review of the Feilding passenger transport service via community consultation. As a result, a new service for Feilding residents will be provided separately to the existing commuter service that operates between Palmerston North and Feilding. This new service will become operational within the 2021 financial year and consists of a targeted rate to Manawatū ratepayers of around $35,000 per year plus inflation.
 
In 2020 we also changed the Massey University and Palmerston North urban bus timetables to meet the new requirements of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018. A number of employment law changes were made which changed the way we schedule our driver rest and meal breaks. This change resulted in an additional targeted rate of around $46,000 per year, plus inflation, for our Palmerston North ratepayers.

Property & Rates

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

If you are 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 do not default then a remission of penalty will be applied if required. Please phone free phone 0508 700 800.
 
Direct Debit
You may pay by direct debit that offers annual, quarterly, monthly and fortnightly payment options. A form can be sent to you by our customer services team or you can download the direct debit form.    

 
Automatic payments
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

How can I start a payment arrangement?

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

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

My rates bill has increased this year because my property value has increased, why?

Horizons has a system which deals with most rises and falls in property values and this works. However, in a few cases where property prices rise significantly more than other properties, yes, your rates will go up. The Council has no say in this matter and any concerns you have need to be taken up with Quotable Value – the government agency that sets the rateable value of your property.

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.