No rates for struggling retirees living in the capital is one policy being proposed by Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett.

He's proposed an "indefinite" deferral for those over 65 who could demonstrate rates comprised more than 15 per cent of their gross income.

"As I go about the city, I hear every day from older Wellingtonians about how the rates bill places stress on their household budget.

"Retirees on fixed incomes often live in homes that have appreciated hugely over many decades of rising house prices, leaving them asset-rich but cash poor."


He believed his plan would help alleviate this financial burden faced by many in their retirement years.

However, at least three of Auckland's mayoral candidates have vetoed the idea as impractical and have no plans to do something similar in the country's largest city.

John Palino said his plan for the city would be to reduce rates, across the board, by 10 per cent within the next three years.

"It's doable, Auckland can be a rich city and there are other ways that council can raise money to build our infrastructure.

"Reducing rates are for those elderly and otherwise who can't afford to live in the city, who are moving out, that's what that policy is really about."

Candidate Mark Thomas said it wasn't fair to reduce rates for one group as it'd likely cost the others.

"Any deferral of rates by one group automatically means another group is going to have to pay for that."

He thought it was better to look at a fairer rates policy and to drive better value for money across the cities services.

"It's about delivering better and fairer council rates and services."

Vic Crone said her priority was to keep rates low and affordable for everyone.

"That includes cutting waste and broadening our sources of funding to take the pressure off rates."

She said it was also important that more Aucklanders were aware of what rates rebates they were eligible for.

Phil Goff couldn't be reached for comment by deadline.

However, Leggett believed the policy was affordable.

"Because councils can borrow cheaply, rates deferral operates much like a low-cost loan against the household estate.

"It is a cost-neutral option that doesn't ask other ratepayers to pick up the tab."