Rates FAQ

ORC manages Otago’s environment.

We set policies and rules to protect Otago’s water, land and air. We also respond to pollution events and lead pest management. We minimise risks from natural hazards, help people stay safe in our waterways, and provide public transport in Dunedin and Queenstown. We also support community groups that look after our environment.

District and city councils manage infrastructure.

District and city councils focus on infrastructure and community facilities like three waters (drinking water, stormwater and wastewater), libraries, roads, parks and recreational facilities.

Yes. All property owners in Otago pay rates to ORC separately from the rates they pay to their local city or district council. 

You can see the options for how to pay your rates on our Pay It page. 

The uniform rate is the same for every property – whatever its current value. 

Capital value, or CV, is the rate based on your property’s current capital value. Capital value is the value of your property including improvements as at 30 June.

We get most of our information from Quotable Value New Zealand (QVNZ).

All Otago local councils use QVNZ to maintain the District Valuation Roll. Properties in each district are valued by QVNZ every three years.

We send your annual rates assessment in September each year. Full payment is due on 31 October unless you have a formal alternative arrangement in place (such as a direct debit). 

You can set up a direct debit with us, which allows you to pay in instalments during the year. Direct debit options are: 

  • annual 
  • monthly 
  • fortnightly 
  • weekly 
  • tri-annual. 

You can set up a direct debit online. 

If you can’t set up a direct debit option and are and having difficulties paying your rates, please talk with our rates team. You can call 0800 474 082 or email rates.queries@orc.govt.nz. 

If you do not pay your rates by the due date and haven’t arranged an alternative payment plan with us, we will apply a 10% penalty to unpaid rate balances on 1 November. Any balance from previous financial years which remains unpaid on 1 May will incur a further 10% penalty.

Find out more about the different ways to pay your rates. 

Not necessarily. It depends on how much the property value has increased. If your property value increase is the same as the average property increase in the district, then your rates will not be affected.

However, if your property value has increased substantially more than the average, then your rates may have increased to reflect this.

You can apply for the refund online through our property search. 

You can also apply by downloading the form, filling it out, and returning the completed form to our rates team (rates.queries@orc.govt.nz) 

If you would like to suppress your name and address from the rating information database, you will need to complete the ‘Suppress your name and postal address’ form. 
You can either complete this online via our property search, or download the form and return it to our rates team via post or email.

You can find more details about the rates foundation and policies in the latest version of the Long-term Plan or Annual Plan. 

We use the property records held by your district or city council. If you’ve changed your postal address, contact your local council with the new details. They will notify us of the change. Here are contact details for local councils in Otago.

Dunedin City Council: (03) 477 4000 
Queenstown Lakes District Council:  (03) 441 0499 
Clutha District Council:  (03) 419 0200
Waitaki District Council: (03) 433 0300
Central Otago District Council: (03) 440 0056

We can also change mailing addresses directly. Please talk to a Customer Representative at any of  our offices or email us at customer.services@orc.govt.nz

If you think you’ve been charged a late payment penalty in error, please complete our Penalty Waiver form.

Here’s how to access the form:

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