Key issue 5: Protecting and enhancing our environment

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The previous 10-year budget accelerated actions to improve our water quality and natural environment.

This was funded by the Water Quality Targeted Rate and the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

What the Water Quality Target Rate pays for

Illustration of a person swimming.

The Water Quality Targeted Rate has already funded work to improve water quality. We have been able to contribute $10 million towards a six-year clean-up of the Kaipara Harbour.

We have put in infrastructure to stop wastewater overflowing into our harbours and onto our beaches and introduced proactive monitoring of septic tanks. This has allowed us to re-open five beaches that were previously closed because of public health concerns.

We have focused on the western isthmus where the worst wastewater overflows have been. Work has begun on the St Marys Bay and Daldy Street outfalls, and the Freeman's Bay stormwater separation project.

What we are proposing

Illustration of a smartphone with tick and cross icons indicating good and bad water quality.

The recovery budget is proposing to extend the Water Quality Targeted Rate from 2028 to 2031, providing an additional $150 million. This will allow us to start works to improve water quality elsewhere in the city, particularly in coastal areas from Hobson’s Bay to St Heliers, as well as the Manukau Harbour. Work would begin in 2028/2029.

We are also consulting to increase the Water Quality Targeted Rate in line with the projected average increase in general rates 5 per cent in 2021/2022 and 3.5 per cent each year thereafter. This will provide an additional $106 million.

This increase combined with the extension to 2031 will provide a total of $256 million over 10 years and will enable us to:

  • deliver improved water quality in the Manukau Harbour, Tāmaki Estuary and along the beaches between Parnell and Glendowie with major construction projects starting six years earlier in 2022/2023.
  • fund additional litter trap projects to improve freshwater and coastal water quality through contaminant removal across the entire region.

This proposal would not significantly impact our debt-to-revenue ratio.

What do you think?

We are proposing to extend and increase the Water Quality Targeted Rate until June 2031.
See question 3 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.

How this proposal will affect rates

Under this proposal the Water Quality Targeted Rate will increase in 2021/2022:

  • for the average value residential property ($1,083,500) by $3.30 (0.12 per cent on total rates) to $69
  • for the average value business property ($2,862,500) by $15.30 (0.09 per cent on total rates) to $321.

What the Natural Environment Targeted Rate pays for

Illustration of a kokako perched on a tree.Increase in kokako population - 340 adult birds now compared to 232 birds in 2018.


The Natural Environment Targeted Rate has funded work to address the spread of kauri dieback disease and tackle pests that are killing our native birds and trees.

So far we have:

  • opened 60km of kauri-safe tracks, undertaken pest control on 88,000ha of reserve and park land
  • set more than 1500 traps to eliminate stoats on Waiheke Island.

What we are proposing

The recovery budget is also proposing to extend the Natural Environment Target Rate from 2028 to 2031. This will provide an additional $107 million allowing us to maintain our investments in measures such as addressing the spread of kauri dieback, and predator and weed control.

We are not proposing to change the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

What do you think?

What is your opinion on extending the Natural Environment Targeted Rate until June 2031?
See question 5 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.


You can read more on this proposal in Section 7.5 of the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Supporting Information.

You should know

This is a highlight of the key topics in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031. See pages 35-36 of the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Consultation Document for complete information and financial details.

The previous 10-year budget accelerated actions to improve our water quality and natural environment.

This was funded by the Water Quality Targeted Rate and the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

What the Water Quality Target Rate pays for

Illustration of a person swimming.

The Water Quality Targeted Rate has already funded work to improve water quality. We have been able to contribute $10 million towards a six-year clean-up of the Kaipara Harbour.

We have put in infrastructure to stop wastewater overflowing into our harbours and onto our beaches and introduced proactive monitoring of septic tanks. This has allowed us to re-open five beaches that were previously closed because of public health concerns.

We have focused on the western isthmus where the worst wastewater overflows have been. Work has begun on the St Marys Bay and Daldy Street outfalls, and the Freeman's Bay stormwater separation project.

What we are proposing

Illustration of a smartphone with tick and cross icons indicating good and bad water quality.

The recovery budget is proposing to extend the Water Quality Targeted Rate from 2028 to 2031, providing an additional $150 million. This will allow us to start works to improve water quality elsewhere in the city, particularly in coastal areas from Hobson’s Bay to St Heliers, as well as the Manukau Harbour. Work would begin in 2028/2029.

We are also consulting to increase the Water Quality Targeted Rate in line with the projected average increase in general rates 5 per cent in 2021/2022 and 3.5 per cent each year thereafter. This will provide an additional $106 million.

This increase combined with the extension to 2031 will provide a total of $256 million over 10 years and will enable us to:

  • deliver improved water quality in the Manukau Harbour, Tāmaki Estuary and along the beaches between Parnell and Glendowie with major construction projects starting six years earlier in 2022/2023.
  • fund additional litter trap projects to improve freshwater and coastal water quality through contaminant removal across the entire region.

This proposal would not significantly impact our debt-to-revenue ratio.

What do you think?

We are proposing to extend and increase the Water Quality Targeted Rate until June 2031.
See question 3 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.

How this proposal will affect rates

Under this proposal the Water Quality Targeted Rate will increase in 2021/2022:

  • for the average value residential property ($1,083,500) by $3.30 (0.12 per cent on total rates) to $69
  • for the average value business property ($2,862,500) by $15.30 (0.09 per cent on total rates) to $321.

What the Natural Environment Targeted Rate pays for

Illustration of a kokako perched on a tree.Increase in kokako population - 340 adult birds now compared to 232 birds in 2018.


The Natural Environment Targeted Rate has funded work to address the spread of kauri dieback disease and tackle pests that are killing our native birds and trees.

So far we have:

  • opened 60km of kauri-safe tracks, undertaken pest control on 88,000ha of reserve and park land
  • set more than 1500 traps to eliminate stoats on Waiheke Island.

What we are proposing

The recovery budget is also proposing to extend the Natural Environment Target Rate from 2028 to 2031. This will provide an additional $107 million allowing us to maintain our investments in measures such as addressing the spread of kauri dieback, and predator and weed control.

We are not proposing to change the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

What do you think?

What is your opinion on extending the Natural Environment Targeted Rate until June 2031?
See question 5 to have your say on this proposal and other key topics.


You can read more on this proposal in Section 7.5 of the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Supporting Information.

You should know

This is a highlight of the key topics in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031. See pages 35-36 of the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 Consultation Document for complete information and financial details.