An ambitious but affordable plan.


  • we are budgeting on spending $1.26 billion on our district
  • just over half of our overall budget ($733m) will be funded by rates
  • the amount we collect on rates is below 65% of our total revenue
  • we are looking at average annual rates increases of 2.23% (that's including water)
  • without water, our average annual rates increases of 1.53%
  • by June 2034, our debt is expected to peak at 194m which is well within our limits
  • even at this peak, we have room to borrow a further $40m if we needed to.


If you can't find the property you're after, give us a call on 0800 WAIPA DC.

Please note: The figures do not include water charges which will be billed separately from 1 July 2018.​

What you're paying now (2017/18)
What you'll pay next year (2018/19)
This means, each week you will see a difference of

Click here for the full picture of what your rates will be for the next 10 years, and how they are calculated.


Just over half of our overall budget ($733m) is funded by rates. A significant proportion comes from other sources such as fees and charges (when someone pays for a council service they use), government subsidies, development contributions and grants.


Over the next decade, here’s where the money is expected to be spent:


If you’re a property owner you will pay rates each year.

Over the next 10 years, we are looking at average annual rates increases of 2.23 per cent, including water charges. As of 1 July 2018, you will be charged for water separately. If we took away that charge, the average annual rates increase would be 1.53 per cent. 

How the rates are looking over the next 10 years (including water meter charges)

This graph shows the forecast rates increases for the average Waipā ratepayer when the water charges are included, as they historically have been. This is based on all of the proposals included throughout this website.

How the rates are looking over the next 10 years (not including water meter charges)

This graph shows the forecast rates increases for the average Waipā ratepayer when the water charges are not included starting in the 2018/19 financial year. This is based on all of the proposals included throughout this website. You will note that this means the average ratepayer’s rates will decrease in the first year because the water cost has been removed. 

In the two graphs above, you will see that the rates percentage increases peak at different times. This is because when we separate water from our rates, we also separate out the impact on rates from water supply projects. The total amount we collect in rates would always be higher if they included water.

Rates (income) affordability

The amount we collect in rates is below 65 per cent of our total revenue. The following graph shows we are comfortably under the limit - indicating a mix of revenue sources are used by Council.

Rates (increases) affordability

We have a limit on our average annual rates increases. Our policy is that our average rates should not be more than the inflation rate* for that year plus 2 per cent. This graph shows we are well within our self-imposed limits.

*No more than the forecast Local Government Cost Index (LGCI).


As a Council, we need to borrow money to pay for some of our big ticket items. Borrowing lets us get things now but pay over time. Think of a mortgage on a house or a loan for a car or boat. You own it today but you pay for it over time in more affordable chunks.

Debt is a fair way of spreading the cost across the generations that will benefit from the projects. It would not be fair for the whole cost to be carried by the ratepayers living in Waipā in the year the project is built. Nor would be it a affordable.

To keep up with growth, and for our budget to remain within prudent limits, Council is making some changes to the way we manage our debt and how much debt we take on.

1. Increasing the amount we borrow

We cannot cater for the projected growth in our district, and pay for major projects outlined throughout this website without borrowing money. To do the work that needs to be done, the Council’s debt levels will increase, peaking at $194m in 2024/25. This is still below our debt limits and as a Council we are still in a great financial shape in accordance with central government requirements. Under government guidelines, we could prudently borrow a further $40m - even when our debt peaks in 2024/25 - so we have room to cater for any unforeseen events.

Debt levels against our debt limits

Council meets the debt affordability benchmark if our planned borrowing is within each quantified limit on borrowing. The quantified limit is set at 175 per cent of total revenue. This graph shows our level of debt at the end of each year and how they compare with our set prudent debt limits.

2. Extending the length of time we borrow money for

Over the next 10 years, we’re proposing to extend the amount of time we borrow money over for some of our projects. We are proposing to extend some of our loan timeframes from 20 years to 30 years. This means we can better share the costs of projects over generations. This is a much fairer way to spread the costs for long-lasting assets.

Debt from growth-related projects such as increasing water treatment plant capacity or building new water and road infrastructure for new developments will be repaid by development contributions. Typically, these are paid off a lot faster because new housing development sells quickly.

Over the 10 years Council would defer $5.4m cost to ratepayers by using extended loan terms as per what we are proposing in this draft 10-Year Plan.

By lengthening the term of the loans, the loans are not paid off as fast. Therefore the level of debt that Council has will be $6m higher under the 30 year term model ($166m by 2028/29) than under the 20 year term model ($160m by 2028/29).

You can see more detail on the rates impact of these changes in our draft Financial Strategy.


Unless you already have a water meter (and many properties in Waipā already have), you currently pay for water in your rates bill.

From mid-2018 every household or business in Waipā connected to the town water supply will be metered. This includes retirement villages which, in most cases, have been metered for many years.

From July 2018, metered water consumers will receive quarterly water bills made up of two parts.

  1. 25% via a fixed network charge
  2. 75% via a volumetric charge

Currently, the fixed network charge is 36% of the water rates. The fixed network charge of $106.95 (including GST) would be applied to each and every separately used or inhabited parts of a property. The remaining 75 per cent of the cost of the district water supply will be recovered via a volumetric charge, meaning users have greater control over their costs. The volumetric charge (sometimes called a variable charge) will depend on how much water is used. The less water used, the less will be charged. The variable charge for the 2018/19 year is based on a rate of $1.495 per cubic metre of water meter (1,000 litres). This equates to a charge of 0.1495 cents per litre of water.

We modelled 19 different options before deciding that this 75/25 split was the most suitable for our community.

For most smaller properties, this charging structure will see a reduction in costs.

For average domestic water users, commercial water users and rural users, the impact will be neutral.

Complex properties

Around 1,000 properties in Waipā have a complex water supply arrangement. Unlike most properties, these properties do not have their own private pipe and water meter. Instead they share the water supply point with their neighbours. Many of these properties are older, cross-lease properties. Properties of this type can no longer be built in the district.

In November 2017 Council decided that for complex properties, the volumetric portion of water bills will be split equally with their connected neighbours. Complex property owners will still pay the same fixed charge as any other property owner. This charging regime will apply for the 2018/19 year but this decision will be reviewed for the 2019/2020 year.


Council is a complex business. While our overall aim is to balance the books (meaning the money we receive equals the money we spend), this is not always possible due to the different types of way we receive income. We are comfortable with how this is being managed. More detailed information around how we manage this is available in our draft Financial Strategy.


The assumptions used to develop the draft 10-Year Plan are detailed in our ‘Significant Forecasting Assumptions’ document as part of our supporting information, found here

Waipa District Council
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Te Awamutu, 3840
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