Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill

Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill

Government Bill

226—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

The Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill (the Bill) is intended to—

  • support the development of, and provision of housing on, Māori land; and

  • modernise rating legislation affecting Māori land.

Current rating legislation has long been recognised as an impediment to owners engaging with developing Māori land. In particular, the accumulation of rates creates a cycle where lack of development inhibits the ability of owners to pay rates, and existing rates arrears inhibit owners from engaging with local authorities to promote development of their land. Current rating legislation also prevents owners of homes on Māori land accessing rates rebates where there is more than 1 home on the property, or where there are multiple land uses on the property.

Much of the current rating legislation for Māori land is largely unchanged from the Maori Land Rating Act 1924. It is no longer consistent with present-day expectations about Māori–Crown relationships.

This Bill provides—

  • local authorities with the power to write off rates arrears on any land where they cannot be recovered or, in the case of Māori land, a person has effectively inherited rates arrears from a deceased owner; and

  • for rating units of Māori land that are entirely unused Māori land and Māori land protected by Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata to be non-rateable; and

  • a statutory remission process to promote rates remissions for Māori freehold land under development; and

  • that the ratepayer for multiple rating units of Māori freehold land may apply to have them treated as one for the purposes of calculating rates if they are used as one economic unit, which will reduce uniform charges and lower the overall rates charged; and

  • for multiple homes on a rating unit of Māori freehold land to have separate rate accounts if the owner requests, which will enable owners to access rates rebates.

This Bill modernises rating legislation by—

  • removing arbitrary 2-hectare land area restrictions from rates exemptions for marae and urupā; and

  • providing protection to Māori land made general land under the Maori Affairs Amendment Act 1967 from the abandoned land and rating sale provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002; and

  • clarifying the current exemption for marae, meeting places, and meeting houses; and

  • clarifying the obligations on trustees not liable to pay rates for lack of income derived from land held in trust; and

  • including purpose statements in the provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and the Local Government Act 2002 relating to Māori land rating requiring the principles set out in the Preamble to the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 to be appropriately considered in local authority rating decisions.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Department of Internal Affairs is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill.

Regulatory impact assessment

The Department of Internal Affairs produced a regulatory impact assessment on 1 October 2019 to help inform the main policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this Bill.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 specifies the provisions of the Bill that, once passed, will take effect on 1 July 2021. The rest of the Bill, once passed, will come into effect on the day after the date of Royal assent.

Part 1Amendments to Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

Clause 3 provides that the Bill amends the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (the principal Act).

Amendments to Part 1 (preliminary and key provisions)

Clause 4 replaces the purpose provision in section 3. New section 3(b) is new and provides that an additional purpose of the Act is to facilitate the administration of rates on Māori freehold land in a manner that supports the principles set out in the Preamble to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.

Clause 5 consequentially amends section 4, which outlines the structure of the principal Act, to provide that Part 3 contains provisions relating to the write-off of rates (see clause 39).

Clause 6 amends section 5 to—

  • insert new definitions of dwelling, residual rating area, separate rating area, and underlying rating unit; and

  • amend the definitions of rates assessment and rates invoice so that those definitions include rates assessments and rates invoices for separate rating areas as well as rating units; and

  • insert the existing definition of person actually using land from section 96 so that it applies for the purposes of new sections 62A and 65A (as inserted by clauses 33 and 35) as well as existing Part 4.

Clause 7 inserts new section 5A, which gives effect to the transitional, savings, and related provisions contained in new Schedule 1AA (as inserted by clause 49).

Clause 8 amends the definition of ratepayer in section 10 to provide that a ratepayer in relation to a separate rating area is the person who is named as the ratepayer in the rating information database for the separate rating area.

Clause 9 amends—

  • section 12(1) to provide that a ratepayer for a separate rating area is liable for the rates on the separate rating area; and

  • section 12(2) to provide that the circumstances described in new section 62A (as inserted by clause 33) are additional circumstances in which a person other than the ratepayer for a rating unit may become liable for rates on the rating unit.

Clause 10 amends section 20 to clarify that the treatment of 2 or more rating units as 1 unit occurs at the point of assessing a rate rather than at the point of setting a rate.

Clause 11 inserts new section 20A, which requires a local authority to treat multiple blocks of Māori freehold land as 1 unit for the purpose of assessing a ratepayer’s rates liability if—

  • the land is used as a single economic unit; and

  • the local authority is satisfied that the blocks were previously part of, or are likely to have formed part of, the same block of Māori freehold land.

Amendments to Part 2 (rating information database and rates records)

Clause 12 amends section 27 so that information may be recorded separately for separate rating areas.

Clause 13 amends section 28 to provide that the copy of the rating information database that is made available for inspection may include the name of a person if necessary to identify a separate rating area and the street address of the separate rating area.

Clause 14 amends section 28A to enable the inspection of information in the rating information database in relation to a particular separate rating area.

Clause 15 amends section 28B to provide that a local authority must inform the ratepayers for a separate rating area of their right to withhold certain information from the database.

Clause 16 amends section 28C to provide that a ratepayer for a separate rating area may request that a local authority withhold certain information from the database.

Clause 17 repeals section 28D (which is a transitional provision relating to the establishment of rating information databases in 2005).

Clause 18 amends section 29 to enable the ratepayer for a separate rating area or its underlying rating unit to object to the information contained in the rating information database on the basis that the rates have not been correctly apportioned in accordance with new section 98B(1).

Clause 19 amends section 37 to provide that a local authority must keep and maintain rates records for separate rating areas as well as rating units.

Clause 20 consequentially amends section 38 so that it applies to the inspection of rates records for separate rating areas as well as rating units.

Clause 21 amends section 39 so that a ratepayer can object to the information contained in the rates records if the rates balance shown in respect of a separate rating area is incorrect.

Clause 22 amends section 41 to provide that a local authority must issue an amended assessment if an error in the rating information database or rates record in respect of a separate rating area is corrected and the correction has the effect described in section 41(1)(b).

Clause 23 amends section 41A to provide that the local authority must issue an amended rates assessment for a separate rating area if—

  • it has altered the information in relation to the separate rating area in its district valuation roll and rating information database for that year; and

  • the alteration has the effect described in section 41A(1)(c).

Amendments to Part 3 (assessment, payment, and recovery of rates and remission and postponement)

Clause 24 amends the heading to Part 3 to reflect the addition of new sections 90A to 90D (as inserted by clause 39).

Clause 25 amends section 44 to provide that a ratepayer for a separate rating area is liable for rates when the local authority delivers the rating assessment to the ratepayer for the separate rating area.

Clause 26 amends section 45 to provide that, if a rates assessment is in 2 or more parts because 1 or more separate rating areas have been divided from a rating unit,—

  • the section 45 rates assessment must be provided for the residual rating area (if any) of the rating unit; and

  • a separate rates assessment must be provided for each separate rating area in the rating unit in accordance with new section 98C (as inserted by clause 46).

Clause 27 amends section 46 to provide that a local authority must deliver a rates invoice for a separate rating area to the ratepayer for the separate rating area.

Clauses 28, 29, and 30 consequentially amend sections 47, 48, and 49 to enable those sections to apply in respect of separate rating areas.

Clause 31 amends section 51 to provide that a local authority can provide a combined rates assessment and combined invoice to a ratepayer who is liable for rates on 2 or more rating units or separate rating areas.

Clause 32 amends section 54 to provide that a local authority has the power not to collect amounts due on separate rating areas that are, in the opinion of the local authority, uneconomic to collect.

Clause 33 inserts new section 62A, which provides that a person actually using certain abandoned general land is liable for rates on the land. The abandoned land to which new section 62A applies is land—

  • that was previously Māori land but was converted to general land under Part 1 of the Maori Affairs Amendment Act 1967; and

  • is now beneficially owned by the same owners or the descendants of the owners who beneficially owned the land immediately before the land ceased to be Māori land; and

  • for which rates have not been paid by the owner for 3 years or more; and

  • whose owner is unknown, cannot be found, is deceased, or has notified the local authority that they intend to abandon or have abandoned the land.

Clause 34 consequentially amends section 63 so that it applies to the recovery of unpaid rates in respect of separate rating areas as well as rating units.

Clause 35 inserts new section 65A, which substantially re-enacts existing section 98 of the principal Act and extends its application to the recovery of debt from persons actually using land to which new section 62A (as inserted by clause 33) applies.

Clause 36 amends section 67 to prevent land described in new section 62A(1) from being sold or leased to satisfy a judgment for rates (see also clause 33).

Clause 37 amends section 78 to provide that the District Court cannot authorise the sale or lease of abandoned land unless satisfied the land is not land described in new section 62A(1) (see also clause 33).

Clause 38 amends the heading to subpart 2 of Part 3 to reflect the addition of new sections 90A to 90D (as inserted by clause 39).

Clause 39 inserts new sections 90A to 90D.

New sections 90A to 90C permit the chief executive of a local authority to—

  • write off rates that cannot be recovered; and

  • write off rates arrears on Māori freehold land where successors to interests in land inherit the rating liability from deceased owners of interests in the land; and

  • delegate the exercise of their write-off powers to any specified officer of the local authority.

New section 90D provides that the notes to a local authority’s financial statements must disclose the amount of rates written off by the chief executive under new sections 90A and 90B.

Clause 40 amends section 92 to require the person actually using a separate rating area to be entered as a ratepayer in respect of the separate rating area (see also clause 46).

Clause 41 amends section 93 to require trustees seeking to limit their liability to pay rates on rateable Māori freehold land to the extent of the money derived from the land to provide, on request by a local authority, copies of any accounts provided to the beneficial owners of the land.

Clause 42 amends the cross-heading above section 96 to reflect that sections 96 and 97 (as amended by clauses 43 and 44) apply to persons actually using land in a separate rating area as well as Māori freehold land in multiple ownership.

Clause 43 amends section 96 to provide that a person actually using Māori freehold land in a separate rating area is liable for the rates on the separate rating area. Clause 43(2) repeals the definition of person actually using land for the purposes of Part 4. The definition of person actually using land now appears in section 5 (as amended by clause 6).

Clause 44 amends section 97 to clarify that it does not apply to a person actually using land in a separate rating area.

Clause 45 replaces section 98. The content of existing section 98 has been incorporated into new section 65A (see clause 35). New section 98 provides that the ratepayer of a rating unit is not liable for the rates on any separate rating area in the rating unit.

Clause 46 inserts new sections 98A to 98F.

New section 98A provides that a local authority may determine part of a rating unit on Māori freehold land to be a separate rating area if it comprises a dwelling and is used separately from the other land in the rating unit.

New section 98B provides that the local authority must apportion the rates assessed for the rating unit between each separate rating area and any residual rating area in the underlying rating unit.

New section 98C specifies the required contents of a rates assessment for a separate rating area.

New section 98D provides that a determination that part of a rating unit is a separate rating area takes effect on and from the commencement of the financial year following the year in which a person makes a request for a determination, unless the person who made the request and the local authority agree otherwise.

New section 98E provides that a local authority may determine that a separate rating area is no longer a separate rating area on the request of the trustee, the person actually using the separate rating area, or on its own initiative and specifies when such a determination takes effect.

New section 98F provides that Part 4A (which relates to lump sum contributions) applies to the ratepayer for the underlying rating unit.

Clause 47 amends the heading to section 114, which relates to the remission of rates on Māori freehold land generally, to distinguish the content of the section from new section 114A.

Clause 48 inserts new section 114A to provide a statutory rates remission process for Māori freehold land under development.

Clause 49 inserts new Schedule 1AA into the principal Act. New Schedule 1AA is set out in the Schedule of the Bill and contains transitional, savings, and related provisions.

Clause 50 amends Schedule 1 to—

  • provide that land subject to a Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata is non-rateable; and

  • remove the requirement that non-rateable land used for a marae or meeting place, cemetery, crematorium, or burial ground must not exceed 2 hectares; and

  • clarify that non-rateable land used for the purposes of a marae excludes land used for commercial or agricultural activity or as residential accomodation; and

  • provide that a rating unit of Māori freehold land that is entirely unused is non-rateable.

Part 2Amendments to other legislation

Amendment to Local Government Act 2002

Clause 51 provides that clause 52 amends the Local Government Act 2002.

Clause 52 amends section 102 of the Local Government Act 2002 to provide that an additional purpose of adopting funding and financial policies is to support the principles set out in the Preamble to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

Amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

Clause 53 provides that clauses 54 and 55 amend Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

Clause 54 inserts new section 128A to enable the Registrar of the Māori Land Court to make a determination as to whether multiple rating units of Māori freehold land were previously part of the same block of Māori freehold land.

Clause 55 inserts new section 330B to impose an obligation on the Registrar of the Māori Land Court to notify the relevant local authority when an occupation order is made, amended, or cancelled.

Amendments to Rates Rebate Act 1973

Clause 56 provides that clause 57 amends the Rates Rebate Act 1973.

Clause 57 amends the definitions of property and residential property in the Rates Rebate Act 1973 so that the rates rebate scheme applies to separate rating areas as if they were rating units.

Amendment to Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013

Clause 58 provides that clause 59 amends the Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013.

Clause 59 amends Schedule 1 of the Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013 to provide that the fee for filing an application for a determination whether rating units were previously part of the same block of Māori freehold land is $60.

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill

Government Bill

226—1

Contents

Explanatory note
1Title
2Commencement
3Amendments to Local Government (Rating) Act 2002
4Section 3 replaced (Purpose)
3Purpose
5Section 4 amended (Outline)
6Section 5 amended (Interpretation)
7New section 5A inserted (Transitional, savings, and related provisions)
5ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
8Section 10 replaced (Who is ratepayer?)
10Who is ratepayer?
9Section 12 amended (Liability for rates)
10Section 20 amended (Rating units in common ownership)
11New section 20A inserted (Rating units of Māori freehold land used as a single unit)
20ARating units of Māori freehold land used as a single unit
12Section 27 amended (Rating information database)
13Section 28 amended (Inspection of rating information database)
14Section 28A amended (Inspection of complete rating information database)
15Section 28B amended (Local authority must inform owners of right to withhold certain information from database
16Section 28C amended (Owner entered on database may require local authority to withhold information from database)
17Section 28D repealed (Transitional provision for local authority to establish database)
18Section 29 amended (Objections to rating information database)
19Section 37 amended (Rates records)
20Section 38 amended (Inspection of rates records)
21Section 39 amended (Objection to rates records)
22Section 41 amended (Amended assessment if error in rating information database or rates record is corrected)
23Section 41A amended (Amended assessment to give effect to objection to valuation under Rating Valuations Act 1998)
24Part 3 heading amended (Assessment, payment, and recovery of rates and remission and postponement)
25Section 44 amended (Notice of rates assessment)
26Section 45 amended (Content of rates assessment)
27Section 46 amended (Rates invoice)
28Section 47 amended (Issue of amended rates invoice)
29Section 48 amended (Delivery of rates assessment and rates invoice)
30Section 49 amended (Late delivery of rates invoice)
31Section 51 amended (Combined rates assessment and rates invoice)
32Section 54 amended (Power not to collect small amounts)
33New section 62A inserted (Person actually using certain abandoned general land liable for rates)
62APerson actually using certain abandoned general land liable for rates
34Section 63 amended (Legal proceedings to recover rates)
35New section 65A inserted (Recovery of unpaid rates from person actually using certain land
65ARecovery of unpaid rates from person actually using certain land
36Section 67 amended (Enforcement of judgment)
37Section 78 amended (Court may order sale or lease of abandoned land)
38Heading to subpart 2 of Part 3 amended (Remission and postponement)
39New sections 90A to 90D and cross-heading inserted
90AChief executive may write off rates that cannot be recovered
90BChief executive may write off rates of deceased owners of Māori freehold land
90CChief executive may delegate power to write off rates
90DAmount of rates written off to be included in notes to financial statements
40Section 92 amended (Recording name of ratepayer)
41Section 93 amended (Limitation of trustee liability)
42Cross-heading above section 96 replaced
43Section 96 amended (Person actually using land liable for rates)
44Section 97 amended (Rates assessment delivered to person actually using land)
45Section 98 replaced (Recovery of unpaid rates from person actually using land)
98Ratepayer of underlying rating unit not liable for rates on separate rating area
46New sections 98A to 98F and cross-heading inserted
98AHow rating unit on Māori freehold land divided into separate rating areas
98BApportionment of rates for separate rating areas
98CContents of rates assessment for separate rating area
98DWhen separate rating area divided from rating area
98EHow separate rating area ceases to be a separate rating area
98FElection to make lump sum contributions must be made on behalf of underlying rating unit
47Section 114 amended (Remission of rates)
48New section 114A inserted (Remission of rates on Māori freehold land under development)
114ARemission of rates for Māori freehold land under development
49New Schedule 1AA inserted
50Schedule 1 amended
51Amendment to Local Government Act 2002
52Section 102 amended (Funding and financial policies)
53Amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
54New section 128A inserted (Registrar may advise local authority whether rating units were previously part of same block of Maori freehold land)
128ARegistrar may advise local authority whether rating units were previously part of same block of Maori freehold land
55New section 330B inserted (Obligation to notify territorial authority of occupation order)
330BObligation to notify territorial authority of occupation order
56Amendments to Rates Rebate Act 1973
57Section 2 amended (Interpretation)
58Amendment to Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013
59Schedule amended

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1 Title

This Act is the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2020.

2 Commencement

This Act comes into force as follows:

(a)

the following provisions come into force on 1 July 2021:

(i)

section 6:

(ii)

sections 11 to 23:

(iii)

sections 25 to 32:

(iv)

section 34:

(v)

sections 40 to 46:

(vi)

section 50:

(vii)

sections 56 and 57:

(b)

the rest of this Act comes into force on the day after the date of Royal assent.

Part 1 Amendments to Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

3 Amendments to Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

This Act amends the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (the principal Act).

Amendments to Part 1 (preliminary and key provisions)

4 Section 3 replaced (Purpose)

Replace section 3 with:

3 Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to—

(a)

promote the purpose of local government set out in the Local Government Act 2002 by—

(i)

providing local authorities with flexible powers to set, assess, and collect rates to fund local government activities:

(ii)

ensuring that rates are set in accordance with decisions that are made in a transparent and consultative manner:

(iii)

providing for processes and information to enable ratepayers to identify and understand their liability for rates; and

(b)

facilitate the administration of rates in a manner that supports the principles set out in the Preamble to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

5 Section 4 amended (Outline)

In section 4(4)(b), replace “remission of rates and postponement of the requirement to pay rates” with “remission of rates, postponement of the requirement to pay rates, and the write-off of rates”.

6 Section 5 amended (Interpretation)

(1)

In section 5, insert in their appropriate alphabetical order:

dwelling means a building or part of a building occupied as residential accommodation and includes—

(a)

a garage, a shed, and any other building used in connection with the dwelling; and

(b)

the land attached or appurtenant to the dwelling and commonly used in connection with the dwelling

person actually using land or person actually using a rating unit means a person who, alone or with others,—

(a)

leases the land; or

(b)

does 1 or more of the following things on the land for profit or other benefit:

(i)

resides on the land:

(ii)

depastures or maintains livestock on the land:

(iii)

stores anything on the land:

(iv)

uses the land in any other way

residual rating area means the part of a rating unit (if any) that remains after 1 or more separate rating areas are divided from the rating unit

separate rating area means land that has become a separate rating area under section 98A

underlying rating unit means a rating unit which has been divided into separate rating areas under section 98A

(2)

In section 5, definition of rates assessment, after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(3)

In section 5, definition of rates invoice, after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

7 New section 5A inserted (Transitional, savings, and related provisions)

After section 5, insert:

5A Transitional, savings, and related provisions

The transitional, savings, and related provisions set out in Schedule 1AA have effect according to their terms.

8 Section 10 replaced (Who is ratepayer?)

Replace section 10 with:

10 Who is ratepayer?

For the purposes of this Act, a ratepayer is,—

(a)

in relation to a rating unit, the person who is named as a ratepayer in the rating information database and the district valuation roll for the rating unit:

(b)

in relation to a separate rating area, the person who is named as the ratepayer in the rating information database for the separate rating area.

9 Section 12 amended (Liability for rates)

(1)

After section 12(1), insert:

(1A)

The ratepayer for a separate rating area is liable to pay the rates that are due on the separate rating area.

(2)

In section 12(2), replace “and 62” with “to 62A.

10 Section 20 amended (Rating units in common ownership)

In section 20, replace “setting” with “assessing”.

11 New section 20A inserted (Rating units of Māori freehold land used as a single unit)

After section 20, insert:

20A Rating units of Māori freehold land used as a single unit

(1)

A person actually using 2 or more rating units of Māori freehold land may apply to the local authority for 2 or more of the rating units to be treated as 1 unit for the purposes of a rates assessment.

(2)

The local authority must treat the rating units as 1 unit for assessing a rate if—

(a)

the units are used jointly as a single unit by the person; and

(b)

the local authority is satisfied the units were previously part of, or are likely to have been part of, the same block of Māori freehold land.

(3)

A local authority may make an application to the Registrar of the Māori Land Court for a determination as to whether the rating units were previously part of the same block of Māori freehold land.

(4)

In this section, block has the meaning set out in section 4 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

Amendments to Part 2 (rating information database and rates records)

12 Section 27 amended (Rating information database)

(1)

After section 27(5)(c), insert:

(d)

1 or more separate rating areas being divided from a rating unit under section 98A.

(2)

In section 27(6)(a) and (b), after “unit”, insert “or a separate rating area”.

13 Section 28 amended (Inspection of rating information database)

In section 28(2), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

14 Section 28A amended (Inspection of complete rating information database)

(1)

In section 28A(2), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 28A(3), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

(3)

In section 28A(6), after “units”, insert “or separate rating areas”.

15 Section 28B amended (Local authority must inform owners of right to withhold certain information from database

(1)

In the heading to section 28B, after owners, insert of rating units and ratepayers for separate rating areas.

(2)

In section 28B, after “owner”, insert “of a rating unit and ratepayer for a separate rating area”.

16 Section 28C amended (Owner entered on database may require local authority to withhold information from database)

(1)

In the heading to section 28C, after Owner insert of rating unit and ratepayer for separate rating area.

(2)

In section 28C(1), after “owner”, insert “of a rating unit or ratepayer for a separate rating area”.

(3)

In section 28C(2), (3)(b), and (4), after “owner”, insert “or ratepayer”.

17 Section 28D repealed (Transitional provision for local authority to establish database)

Repeal section 28D.

18 Section 29 amended (Objections to rating information database)

After section 29(1), insert:

(1A)

A person who is named in the rating information database as the ratepayer for a separate rating area or its underlying rating unit may also object to the information contained in the database on the ground that the apportionment of rates fails to comply with section 98B.

19 Section 37 amended (Rates records)

(1)

In section 37(1), after “for each rating unit”, insert “and separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 37(1)(a) and (b), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(3)

In section 37(3), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

20 Section 38 amended (Inspection of rates records)

(1)

In section 38(1), after “rates record for a rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 38(1)(d)(i), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

21 Section 39 amended (Objection to rates records)

In section 39(1)(b), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

22 Section 41 amended (Amended assessment if error in rating information database or rates record is corrected)

In section 41(1)(a), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

23 Section 41A amended (Amended assessment to give effect to objection to valuation under Rating Valuations Act 1998)

(1)

In section 41A(1), after “a rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 41A(1)(a) and (b)(ii), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(3)

In section 41A(1)(b)(i), replace “the information in relation to the rating unit” with “information”.

Amendments to Part 3 (assessment, payment, and recovery of rates and remission and postponement)

24 Part 3 heading amended (Assessment, payment, and recovery of rates and remission and postponement)

In the Part 3 heading, replace remission and postponement with remission, postponement, and write-off of rates.

25 Section 44 amended (Notice of rates assessment)

(1)

In section 44(1) , after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 44(2), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

26 Section 45 amended (Content of rates assessment)

After section 45(4), insert:

(5)

If subsection (3) applies because 1 or more separate rating areas have been divided from a rating unit,—

(a)

the information required by subsection (1) must be provided for the residual rating area (if any) of the rating unit; and

(b)

a separate rates assessment must be provided for each separate rating area in the rating unit in accordance with section 98C.

27 Section 46 amended (Rates invoice)

In section 46, after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

28 Section 47 amended (Issue of amended rates invoice)

In section 47(1), after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

29 Section 48 amended (Delivery of rates assessment and rates invoice)

(1)

In section 48(1), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 48(3), replace “the rating unit” with “a rating unit or separate rating area”.

30 Section 49 amended (Late delivery of rates invoice)

In section 49, after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

31 Section 51 amended (Combined rates assessment and rates invoice)

(1)

In section 51(1), after “units”, insert “or separate rating areas” in each place.

(2)

In section 51(2), after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(3)

In section 51(3), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

32 Section 54 amended (Power not to collect small amounts)

(1)

In section 54(1) and (2)(a), after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

(2)

In section 54(3)(b), replace “that rating unit” with “the rating unit or separate rating area”.

33 New section 62A inserted (Person actually using certain abandoned general land liable for rates)

After section 62, insert:

62A Person actually using certain abandoned general land liable for rates

(1)

This section applies to land if—

(a)

the land is general land that ceased to be Māori land under Part 1 of the Maori Affairs Amendment Act 1967; and

(b)

the land is beneficially owned by the persons, or by the descendants of the persons, who beneficially owned the land immediately before the land ceased to be Māori land; and

(c)

rates have not been paid to the local authority by the owner of the land for 3 years or more; and

(d)

the owner of the land—

(i)

is unknown; or

(ii)

cannot be found after due inquiry and has no known agent in New Zealand; or

(iii)

is deceased and has no personal representative; or

(iv)

has given notice to the local authority that they intend to abandon or have abandoned the land.

(2)

A person actually using land to which this section applies is liable for rates on the land in respect of the period commencing on or after the date they started using the land.

(3)

A person actually using only part of a rating unit of land to which this section applies during a financial year must be treated as having used the whole of the rating unit for the whole of the financial year unless the person establishes otherwise.

(4)

The rates assessment and rates invoice must be delivered to the person actually using the land to which this section applies.

(5)

This section overrides sections 44 and 46.

34 Section 63 amended (Legal proceedings to recover rates)

In section 63(2), after “rating unit”, insert “or separate rating area”.

35 New section 65A inserted (Recovery of unpaid rates from person actually using certain land

After section 65, insert:

65A Recovery of unpaid rates from person actually using certain land

In proceedings under section 63 for the recovery of unpaid rates against a person actually using land to which section 62A or 96 applies (other than rates in respect of a separate rating area), the court may give judgment for a proportion of the unpaid rates if the court—

(a)

considers it to be reasonable to do so in the circumstances; and

(b)

is satisfied that—

(i)

the person did not actually use the whole of the rating unit for which the rates are claimed for the relevant financial year; and

(ii)

the amount of rates payable is disproportionately large compared to a reasonable rental or payment for the use.

36 Section 67 amended (Enforcement of judgment)

(1)

Replace section 67(3) with:

(3)

Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a)

land that is subject to enactments that prohibit the alienation or transfer of that land; or

(b)

land described in section 62A(1).

(2)

In section 67(4), replace “despite those enactments, the local authority may” with “the local authority may, in respect of land described in subsection (3)(a),”.

37 Section 78 amended (Court may order sale or lease of abandoned land)

In section 78, after “complied with”, insert “and the land is not land described in section 62A(1).

38 Heading to subpart 2 of Part 3 amended (Remission and postponement)

In the heading to subpart 2 of Part 3, replace and postponement with , postponement, and write-off.

39 New sections 90A to 90D and cross-heading inserted

After section 90, insert:

Power of chief executive to write off rates

90A Chief executive may write off rates that cannot be recovered

(1)

The chief executive of a local authority may write off outstanding rates that, in the chief executive’s opinion, cannot be recovered.

(2)

The local authority must give notice to the ratepayer of any write-off.

90B Chief executive may write off rates of deceased owners of Māori freehold land

(1)

The chief executive of a local authority may, in respect of a rating unit of Māori freehold land, write off all or part of the outstanding rates that—

(a)

are payable by a person beneficially entitled to a deceased owner’s beneficial interest in the land; and

(b)

were payable by the deceased owner at the death of the owner.

(2)

The local authority must give notice to the ratepayer of any write-off.

90C Chief executive may delegate power to write off rates

(1)

The chief executive of a local authority may delegate the exercise of the powers under sections 90A and 90B to any specified officer of the local authority.

(2)

The chief executive must not delegate the power to delegate under this section.

90D Amount of rates written off to be included in notes to financial statements

A local authority must ensure that the notes to the financial statements described in clause 29(1)(a) of Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 2002 disclose the amount of rates written off each financial year under sections 90A and 90B.

Amendments to Part 4 (rating of Māori freehold land)

40 Section 92 amended (Recording name of ratepayer)

(1)

After section 92(4), insert:

(4A)

If a separate rating area is divided from a rating unit under section 98A, the person actually using the separate rating area must be entered as the ratepayer in the rating information database for the separate rating area.

(2)

In section 92(7), replace “and (4)” with “(4), and (4A).

41 Section 93 amended (Limitation of trustee liability)

In section 93, insert as subsection (2):

(2)

Trustees seeking to rely on section 93(1)(b) must, on request by a local authority, provide copies of any annual financial statements provided to the beneficial owners by the trustees.

42 Cross-heading above section 96 replaced

Replace the cross-heading above section 96 with:

Person actually using Māori freehold land in multiple ownership or separate rating areas

43 Section 96 amended (Person actually using land liable for rates)

(1)

Replace section 96(1) with:

(1)

A person actually using land is liable for the rates on that land if the land is Māori freehold land—

(a)

in a rating unit in multiple ownership that is not vested in a trustee; or

(b)

in a separate rating area.

(2)

Repeal section 96(2).

44 Section 97 amended (Rates assessment delivered to person actually using land)

In section 97(2), replace “A person to whom section 96 applies and who is actually using” with “A person who is actually using land described in section 96(1)(a) (other than land in a separate rating area) and who is using only”.

45 Section 98 replaced (Recovery of unpaid rates from person actually using land)

Replace section 98 with:

98 Ratepayer of underlying rating unit not liable for rates on separate rating area

(1)

The ratepayer for a rating unit is not liable for any rates due on any separate rating area in the rating unit.

(2)

Sections 99 to 113 (which relate to charging orders on Māori freehold land) do not apply in respect of any rates due on the separate rating area.

46 New sections 98A to 98F and cross-heading inserted

After section 98, insert:

Separate rating areas on Māori freehold land

98A How rating unit on Māori freehold land divided into separate rating areas

(1)

A local authority may divide a separate rating area from a rating unit on Māori freehold land on the request of a person in accordance with this section.

(2)

A local authority must determine a part of a rating unit to be a separate rating area if the identified part of the rating unit—

(a)

comprises a dwelling; and

(b)

is used separately from the other land in the rating unit.

(3)

If the rating unit is managed by a trustee, the request for a separate rating area—

(a)

must be made by the trustee with the consent of the person actually using the identified part of the rating unit; and

(b)

must include the full name and postal address of the person actually using the identified part of the rating unit and evidence that they consent to the request.

(4)

If the rating unit is not managed by a trustee, the request for a separate rating area may be made by the person actually using the identified part of the rating unit.

(5)

Requests for separate rating areas may be made at any time during the financial year.

98B Apportionment of rates for separate rating areas

The local authority must apportion the rates assessed for the underlying rating unit between each separate rating area and any residual rating area in the unit as follows:

(a)

the apportionment of any rate must be assessed in accordance with the same values and factors that were used to assess the total rates for the underlying rating unit under section 43; and

(b)

any general rate must be apportioned between separate rating areas and any residual rating area by apportioning the rateable valuation of the underlying rating unit between each separate rating area and any residual rating area, but always using the same category of rateable land under section 14 that applies to the underlying rating unit; and

(c)

any uniform annual general charge set under section 15(1)(a) for the underlying rating unit must be apportioned equally between each separate rating area and any residual rating area in the underlying rating unit; and

(d)

any uniform annual general charge set under section 15(1)(b) for the underlying rating unit must be applied to each separate rating area and any residual rating area in the underlying rating unit; and

(e)

any targeted rate must be apportioned between each separate rating area and any residual rating area in the underlying rating unit by apportioning the factors under section 18 that apply to the underlying rating unit between each separate rating area and any residual rating area, but always using the same category of rateable land under section 17 that applies to the underlying rating unit; and

(f)

to avoid doubt, the sum of the apportionments of all rates for the separate rating areas and any residual rating area must equal the sum of all rates that would apply to the underlying rating unit without apportionment.

98C Contents of rates assessment for separate rating area

(1)

A rates assessment for a separate rating area must clearly identify all of the following:

(a)

the name and address of the local authority:

(b)

the name and address of the ratepayer:

(c)

the number on the district valuation roll of the underlying rating unit:

(d)

the legal description of the underlying rating unit:

(e)

the location of the separate rating area:

(f)

the rateable value of the separate rating area:

(g)

the amount and description of each rate:

(h)

the activities or groups of activities of the local authority that will be funded from each rate:

(i)

the relevant matters in Schedule 2 that are required to determine—

(i)

the category (if any) to which the separate rating area belongs for the purposes of setting general rates differentially under section 13(2)(b):

(ii)

the category (if any) to which the separate rating area belongs for the purposes of setting a targeted rate under section 16(3)(b) or (4)(b):

(j)

the information on the factors used to calculate the amount of the liability of the separate rating area in respect of each targeted rate:

(k)

the total amount of rates payable on the separate rating area for the financial year:

(l)

the information set out in section 45(1)(l) to (p).

(2)

If the ratepayer has elected to make a lump sum contribution to a local authority’s capital project, the rates assessment must also identify the target rates for the financial year for which, as a result of the election, no liability attaches to the separate rating area.

98D When separate rating area divided from rating area

(1)

A determination by a local authority that a part of a rating unit is a separate rating area applies on and from the commencement of—

(a)

the financial year following the financial year in which the request for the determination is made; or

(b)

if the requestor and the local authority agree, the financial year in which the request is made.

(2)

Subsection (3) applies if, before a rating unit is divided or ceases to be divided into separate rating areas for a financial year, a local authority has sent a notice, a ratepayer has made a payment, or either has done anything else that affects who is liable for rates (or apportionments of rates) under this Act for that financial year.

(3)

The local authority may do anything required to adjust who is liable for rates (or apportionments of rates), and anything required to adjust any related matters, under this Act for that financial year to reflect the division or removal of the division.

98E How separate rating area ceases to be a separate rating area

(1)

A local authority may determine that a separate rating area divided from a rating unit is no longer a separate rating area—

(a)

on the request of the trustee of the rating unit; or

(b)

if the rating unit is not managed by a trustee, on the request of the person actually using the separate rating area; or

(c)

on its own initiative if—

(i)

the dwelling on the separate rating area has been removed or demolished, or is no longer habitable; or

(ii)

there is no person actually using the separate rating area.

(2)

A determination by a local authority that a separate rating area is no longer a separate rating area applies on and from the commencement of—

(a)

the financial year following the financial year in which an application is made by the trustee of the underlying rating unit:

(b)

if the trustee and the local authority agree, the financial year in which the request is made:

(c)

if the local authority makes the determination on its own initiative, the financial year following the financial year in which the determination is made.

(3)

The local authority must write off any rates outstanding in respect of a separate rating area when the local authority ceases to apportion the rates between separate rating areas under subsection (2).

98F Election to make lump sum contributions must be made on behalf of underlying rating unit

If Part 4A applies to a rating unit that has been divided into separate rating areas, the eligible ratepayer is the ratepayer for the underlying rating unit.

47 Section 114 amended (Remission of rates)

In the heading to section 114, after rates, insert on Māori freehold land generally.

48 New section 114A inserted (Remission of rates on Māori freehold land under development)

After section 114, insert:

114A Remission of rates for Māori freehold land under development

(1)

The purpose of this section is to facilitate the occupation, development, and utilisation of Māori freehold land for the benefit of its owners.

(2)

A local authority must consider an application by a ratepayer for a remission of rates on Māori freehold land if—

(a)

the ratepayer has applied in writing for a remission on the land; and

(b)

the ratepayer or another person is developing, or intends to develop, the land.

(3)

The local authority may, for the purpose of this section, remit all or part of the rates (including penalties for unpaid rates) on Māori freehold land if the local authority is satisfied that remitting the rates is likely to have any or all of the following benefits:

(a)

benefits to the district by creating new employment opportunities:

(b)

benefits to the district by creating new homes:

(c)

benefits to the council by increasing the council’s rating base in the long term:

(d)

benefits to Māori in the district by providing support for marae in the district.

(4)

The local authority may remit all or part of the rates—

(a)

for the duration of a development; and

(b)

differently during different stages of a development; and

(c)

subject to any conditions specified by the local authority, including conditions relating to—

(i)

the completion of the development; or

(ii)

the completion of any stage of the development.

(5)

In determining what proportion of the rates to remit during the development or any stage of the development, the local authority must take into account—

(a)

the expected duration of the development or any stage of the development; and

(b)

if the land is being developed for a commercial purpose, when the ratepayer or ratepayers are likely to generate income from the development; and

(c)

if the development involves the building of 1 or more dwellings, when the ratepayer or any other persons are likely to be able to reside in the dwellings.

(6)

Sections 85(2) and 86 apply to a remission made under subsection (3).

(7)

This section does not limit the application of section 85 or 114 to Māori freehold land.

49 New Schedule 1AA inserted

Insert the Schedule 1AA set out in the Schedule of this Act as the first schedule to appear after the last section of the principal Act.

50 Schedule 1 amended

(1)

In Schedule 1, after clause 1, insert:

1A

Land that is subject to a Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata under section 77A of the Reserves Act 1977 or section 27A of the Conservation Act 1987.

(2)

In Schedule 1, clause 10, delete “that does not exceed 2 hectares and”.

(3)

In Schedule 1, replace clauses 12 and 13 with:

12

Land that is used for the purposes of a marae, excluding any land used—

(a)

primarily for commercial or agricultural activity; or

(b)

as residential accommodation.

13

Land that is set apart under section 338 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 or any corresponding former provision of that Act and used for the purposes of a meeting place, excluding any land used—

(a)

primarily for commercial or agricultural activity; or

(b)

as residential accommodation.

13A

Māori freehold land on which a meeting house is erected, excluding any land used—

(a)

primarily for commercial or agricultural activity; or

(b)

as residential accommodation.

13B

Land that is a Māori reservation held for the common use and benefit of the people of New Zealand under section 340 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act.

(4)

In Schedule 1, after clause 14, insert:

14A

An unused rating unit of Māori freehold land.

(5)

In Schedule 1, note 1, insert in its appropriate alphabetical order:

meeting place means any church, meeting house, hall, dining hall, kitchen, or other building (other than a dwelling) used as a meeting place and includes any land attached or appurtenant to and commonly used in connection with any such building

(6)

In Schedule 1, after note 4, insert:

4A

For the purposes of clause 14A, a rating unit is unused if—

(a)

there is no person actually using any part of the rating unit; or

(b)

the entire rating unit is used in a similar manner to a reserve or conservation area and no part of the rating unit is—

(i)

leased by any person; or

(ii)

used as residential accommodation; or

(iii)

used for any activity (whether commercial or agricultural) other than for personal visits to the land or personal collections of kai or cultural or medicinal material from the land.

Part 2 Amendments to other legislation

Amendment to Local Government Act 2002

51 Amendment to Local Government Act 2002

Section 52 amends the Local Government Act 2002.

52 Section 102 amended (Funding and financial policies)

Replace section 102(1) with:

(1)

A local authority must adopt the funding and financial policies listed in subsection (2) in order to—

(a)

provide predictability and certainty about sources and levels of funding; and

(b)

support the principles set out in the Preamble to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

Amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

53 Amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

Sections 54 and 55 amend Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

54 New section 128A inserted (Registrar may advise local authority whether rating units were previously part of same block of Maori freehold land)

After section 128, insert:

128A Registrar may advise local authority whether rating units were previously part of same block of Maori freehold land

(1)

This section applies if a local authority makes an application under section 20A(3) of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 for a determination as to whether 2 or more rating units were previously part of the same block of Maori freehold land.

(2)

The Registrar may make a determination as to whether the rating units were previously part of the same block of Maori freehold land.

(3)

The Registrar may decline to make a determination if satisfactory evidence is unavailable.

55 New section 330B inserted (Obligation to notify territorial authority of occupation order)

After section 330A, insert:

330B Obligation to notify territorial authority of occupation order

The Registrar of the Maori Land Court must notify the relevant local authority of—

(a)

any occupation order made under section 328; and

(b)

any amendment or cancellation of an occupation order made under section 330.

Amendments to Rates Rebate Act 1973

56 Amendments to Rates Rebate Act 1973

Section 57 amends the Rates Rebate Act 1973.

57 Section 2 amended (Interpretation)

(1)

In section 2(1), replace the definition of property with—

property means—

(a)

a rating unit within the meaning of sections 5B and 5C of the Rating Valuations Act 1998; or

(b)

a separate rating area within the meaning of section 5 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

(2)

In section 2(1), definition of residential property, paragraph (a), after “unit”, insert “or separate rating area” in each place.

Amendment to Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013

58 Amendment to Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013

Section 59 amends the Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013.

59 Schedule amended

In the Schedule, after item 25(o), insert:

(p)determination whether rating units were previously part of the same block of Māori freehold land128A60

Schedule New Schedule 1AA inserted

s 49

Schedule 1AA Transitional, savings, and related provisions

s 5A

Part 1 Provisions relating to Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2020

1 Definition of amendment Act

In this Part, amendment Act means the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2020.

2 Local authority must write off rates arrears for Māori freehold land that is non-rateable on commencement of section 50 of amendment Act

On the commencement of section 50 of the amendment Act, a local authority must write off rates arrears in respect of—

(a)

land that is subject to a Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata; and

(b)

Māori freehold land that is unused (within the meaning of Schedule 1 of this Act).

3 Recognition of pre-commencement actions and processes in relation to separate rating areas

Any action or process undertaken before the commencement of section 46 of the amendment Act by a local authority or any other person may be taken into account by the local authority in determining a part of a rating unit to be a separate rating area on or after the commencement date if the local authority is satisfied that the action or process is consistent with the provisions of this Act as amended by the amendment Act.