Northland council rates are rising across the board as the costs of meeting Government requirements locally continue to increase.
District councils are spending more on three waters infrastructure to meet higher water quality standards and the regional council has new freshwater management rules to work towards.
Whangārei District Council has added extra money for pensioner housing.
Ratepayers will face a double-whammy of significant regional council rates rises and a lift in their district council rates.
Northland Regional Council (NRC) rates are going up by 21.7 per cent. District council rates are also increasing - Whangārei District Council (WDC) rates by 7 per cent, Far North District Council (FNDC) rates by 6.74 per cent and Kaipara District Council (KDC) by 5.17 per cent.
More than 4000 submissions to councils across Northland contributed to shaping the councils' 2021/2022 budgets and local government rates.
The rates increases kicked in on Thursday
with the start of the 2021/2022 financial year.
Councils have lifted the size of originally forecast increases, they say because of community feedback.
Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said community feedback had contributed to WDC lifting its initially-forecast average rates increase from 6.5 to 7 per cent.
Spending on pensioner housing and waste minimisation had doubled as a result to $4 million.
Whangārei council tops the district councils' rates rise.
Mai said the rates increase also covered shortfall from the council's smaller-than-budgeted previous year's rates increase due to Covid-19.
Whangārei ratepayers will pay $75m to the council for its 2021/2022 rates income.
WDC Deputy Mayor Greg Innes said the next decade's council budgeting was hugely impacted by major Government changes to the Resource Management Act and local government reforms.
The Far North's 6.74 per cent rates rise is also higher than the 5.5 per cent initially signalled.
"That increase represents the total rates take. Rate increases for individual property owners will vary and some may be less than 6.74 per cent," Far North Mayor John Carter said.
FNDC's 2021-2031 LTP said among the reasons for this 1.2 per increase above the initial forecast was extra spending for water security and wastewater disposal to land.
"Our goal has been to keep rates increases to a minimum while enabling investment in the right places to ensure the Far North continues to be a desirable place to live," the Far North council said.
FNDC has budgeted $100m over the next 10 years towards drought resilience.
Meanwhile, KDC has Northland's smallest 2021/2022 rates increase.
Mayor Jason Smith said his council had been mindful of the situation facing its community.
KDC also has to spend to get its three waters infrastructure into shape.
The council's 2021-2031 LTP said its main aim in recent years had been repayment of $83m of debt, which had peaked in 2011.
Setting money aside to maintain infrastructure had not been possible across all assets. Service levels had been kept at a base level.
"This meant that there was always going to be a backlog of renewals, as the council had not accumulated sufficient funds to ensure its ageing infrastructure could be repaired and renewed as necessary," the LTP said.
The potential loss of Government funding towards district council roading has also recently become an issue for district councils.
NRC tops the new financial year's Northland rates rises, its 21.7 per cent increase being among the biggest across New Zealand's 11 regional councils.
The 21.7 per cent rise is more than initially forecast.
NRC chairwoman Penny Smart said the council's rates increase was justified.
"When we went out for consultation, we gave an option to do more. Feedback we got from submissions was favourable to this, hence the slight increase," Smart said.
The 21.7 per cent rise included initiatives to provide greater community resilience to the impacts of climate change, improved freshwater health, more work on protecting native wildlife, more work with Māori and to accommodate legislative changes from central government, Smart said.
"While the average dollar amount increase of $83 per ratepayer is not insignificant, it does compare well with dollar-per-ratepayer increases from district councils," Smart said.