Rates postponement is intended to help those on a fixed income, to continue living in their homes when they do not have the financial capacity to pay their rates, or where payment would create a financial hardship.

It is important to understand that postponement does not decrease the annual rates on your property, but it does delay when your rates are due and need to be paid. The accumulated rates  (including compounding annual postponement fees) may significantly reduce your equity in the property. 

It is recommended you visit an independent financial adviser prior to applying and provide evidence of the visit.  There are financial advisers in Christchurch who don’t charge for this service.

Ratepayers aged 65 or over will automatically qualify, provided that the property is their primary place of residence.  Younger applicants will need to include sufficient information to demonstrate financial hardship, such as a Community Services card or financial accounts.

Up to 100% of all rates charges may be postponed, including arrears owing from previous financial years.

Apply for rates postponement

Download and complete a rates postponement application form. Then email or post it to the address shown on the form. 

When completing your application form, please ensure that:

  • all owners of the property sign the application form.
  • a copy of identification ID, such as a New Zealand drivers license, is provided.
  • you supply an email address and phone number.

If your postponement is approved:

  • we may put a formal charge over the property, similar to a mortgage
  • rates charges will continue to accrue, but will no longer be payable on the normal due dates
  • no late payment penalties will be applied, however, an annual fee will be added at the end of each rating year to recover our interest and administration costs.

All postponed amounts, including the added annual fees, will become payable when the property is sold or no longer used as the applicant's primary place of residence (or, for younger applicants, if they regain the financial ability to pay).

Rates Postponement Policy(external link)