Where the money goes

COVID-19 rates update

On Thursday 2 April, the Council is considering measures to support Christchurch businesses and property owners who are financially struggling as a result of the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown. This includes a proposal to offer ratepayers who will receive a rates bill in coming weeks an extra six months to pay, and offering all Council commercial tenants a three-month rent holiday. You can read the Newsline article, and a link to the report here.

Unite Against Covid-19, visit covid19.govt.nz

The Council gets its money from a range of sources, including rates, borrowing, and money from user charges and government grants, especially from NZTA for roading.

This section outlines how much money comes from each source, what we will spend it on this year, including both operating spending and capital investment, and what specifically you are paying for with your rates.

Where the money comes from

In 2018/2019, less than half of our total funding will come from your rates, as shown in the table below.

Sources of Council funding %
Rates 44%
Dividends and interest 21%
Fees, charges, grants, and subsidies 14%
Development contributions 2%
Transfers from reserves 12%
Borrowing 1%
Capital grants and subsidies 6%
Total 100%

What we will spend this year

In 2018/2019, we will spend a total of $1.04 billion on operating and capital costs, excluding housing, which is funded separately from its own rental income.

This total spending is split between our various groups of activity as shown in the table below. 

Corporate expenses includes everything that's not directly related to a single activity - most importantly, interest costs on earthquake-related borrowing and on-lending ($78 million), IT investment ($26 million), an investment in the performing arts precinct and Town Hall ($23 million).

Total Council spending, by activity $000 %
Communities and citizens 198,271 19%
Flood protection and control works 25,429 2%
Governance 15,731 2%
Parks, heritage and coastal environment 67,688 6%
Refuse disposal 49,563 5%
Regulatory and compliance 53,418 5%
Roads and footpaths 145,859 14%
Stormwater drainage 36,527 4%
Strategic planning and policy 43,042 4%
Transportation 75,295 7%
Wastewater 105,450 10%
Water supply 63,883 6%
Corporate expenses 161,523 16%
Total 1,041,679


What your rates are spent on

Much of the spending in the above table is paid for by our non-rates revenue, especially dividends, user charges, and funding from NZTA and others.

The activities specifically paid for by your rates in 2018/2019 are shown in the table below.  This is just a different way of expressing the total spending table above, but only showing the amount of our spending that's paid for specifically by your rates.

For context, we've presented it in two ways:  The number of cents spent on each activity per dollar of rates that you pay, and what this works out to be per week for the average residential ratepayer.  For example, the average home-owner pays around $4.93 per week for parks, heritage and coastal environment.

How your rates will be spent Cents per dollar of rates paid Average residential rates per week
Communities and citizens 23.4 cents $11.89
Flood protection and control works 2.0 cents $1.02
Governance 3.3 cents $1.68
Parks, heritage and coastal environment 9.7 cents $4.93
Refuse disposal 7.9 cents $4.01
Regulatory and compliance 1.9 cents $0.97
Roads and footpaths 12.3 cents $6.25
Stormwater drainage 5.6 cents $2.85
Strategic planning and policy 7.8 cents $3.96
Transportation 0.6 cents $0.30
Wastewater 14.3 cents $7.27
Water supply 11.2 cents $5.69
Total 100.0 cents $50.82