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Submission to The Greater Wellington Reginal Council On the Long Term Plan 2018-2028

Wellington Chamber of Commerce Submission

Issue date


The Wellington Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) on the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 Consultation Document. This submission is also supported in principle by the Kapiti Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of business in the Wellington region for 161 years since 1856 and advocates policies that reflect the interests of the business community in both the city and region, and the development of the region’s economy as a whole. The Chamber advocates the views of its members and obtains that view through regularly surveying members.

For the purposes of this submission, it is important to note that Wellington region businesses contribute significantly to the city and region’s rate-take. Businesses pay 46 per cent of the total rates collected by Wellington City Council while making up only 21 per cent of the total rateable property. Regionally, businesses pay around one-third of the region's rates collected by Greater Wellington Regional Council. Further, Wellington businesses pay the highest proportion of rates of any town, city, or region in New Zealand, nearly 50 per cent higher than Auckland and nearly 100 per cent more than in Hamilton. Therefore as the largest contributor to Wellington City's and the Wellington region’s ratetake, and paying the highest proportion in the country, businesses have a real stake in what happens with that money.

The Chamber notes that the draft 10 year plan will require an increase in rates of $8 million in 2018/19 and $75 million over the 10 years of the plan. This equates to an average rates increase of 6.7 percent forthe 2018/19 year while over the life of the plan, the average annual rates increase will be 5 percent. As has been the case for many years, a disproportionate share of the cost will fall on the business sector.

Although the Wellington business sector pays just under half the city’s rates bill and regionally business pay around a third of the region’s rates bill, the level of rates paid is often entirely disproportionate to the level of services received. The situation is exacerbated by the generally wide use of business/commercial rating differentials despite strong evidence supporting their removal. Where the council has agreed to reduce such differentials, it has often been tardy in doing so, tending towards incremental change due to “expenditure pressures”...

Download to read the full submission.

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