What is a development contribution?

A development contribution is a one-off charge imposed on new developments. It contributes to the growth-related cost of our infrastructure network and supports the city’s long-term growth.

Development contributions are assessed on water, wastewater, stormwater, reserves, community infrastructure, and transport activities.

The Government introduced the charges via the Local Government Act 2002 so councils could recover some growth infrastructure costs from developers.

Do you need to pay a development contribution?

You may be required to pay a development contribution when a resource consent is granted, a building consent is granted, a Certificate of Acceptance is granted and/or a service connection is authorised.

You may need to pay a development contribution if you:

  • subdivide, cross-lease, or unit title a section
  • construct or increase the gross floor area of commercial, retail or industrial buildings
  • change business use (e.g. changing business use from industrial activity to commercial activity)
  • construct a residential dwelling/s
  • add bedrooms to a residential dwelling (consented since 2018)
  • make any alterations to a residential dwelling resulting in a self-contained area
  • lodge a resource consent to legitimise existing activity
  • apply for a Certificate of Acceptance for work that would have otherwise paid development contributions.

Where do development contributions fit within the development process?

We will assess your development contribution when you apply for resource consent, building consent, service connection and/or Certificate of Acceptance.

1. Prepare

During project planning we can let you know if you need to pay a development contribution.

2. Estimate

Get an estimate of the cost of your development contribution.

3. Costs confirmed

We’ll send you a ‘notice of requirement of development contributions’ with the final development contribution amount on grant of consent or authorisation of service connection.

4. Complete work

When you apply for a Code Compliance Certificate, a section 224(c) certificate, authorisation for service connection or when a Certificate of Acceptance or land use consent is granted, we will invoice you.

5. Pay

Pay your development contribution to receive your Code Compliance Certificate, section 224(c) certificate, authorisation for service connection, Certificate of Acceptance or to start your consent.

Where are development contributions spent?

Development contributions help fund planned or existing growth infrastructure. They may only be used to fund the infrastructure activity they were taken for. The contribution is a one-off charge. Ongoing operation and maintenance of infrastructure is covered by us through rates and other charges.

Here are some examples of where your development contribution may go.

Water e.g. Treatment stations, reservoirs, bulk water mains, strategic pipe upsizes.
Wastewater e.g. Treatment plants, interceptors, pump stations, and upgrades.
Stormwater e.g. Ponds, erosion control, attenuation, overland flow management, and pipes.
Reserves e.g. Local parks, sports parks, park improvements, playgrounds, landscaping.
Transport e.g. Major and minor arterials, bridges, collector roads, road upgrades.
Community infrastructure e.g. Public toilets, community centres.

Getting help

Contact our Development Contributions Analyst:

By phone

07 958 5803

By email


Frequently asked questions

Who pays development contributions?

Anyone developing land, building, adding to, or altering the structure or use of a property may be required to pay a development contribution. You may also be required to pay when seeking consent or a Certificate of Acceptance for completed work.

Talk to us if you’re unsure.

When do I get a development contributions assessment?

We estimate development contribution costs at the start of the development process so you are aware of the scale of development contributions before they are due.  

A ‘notice of requirement of development contributions’ which is the formal request to pay development contributions will be issued when one of the following is granted:

  1. resource consent
  2. building consent
  3. an authorisation for service connection
  4. a Certificate of Acceptance – in situations where a development contribution would have been required if  building consent had been granted.

For detail, check section 11 ‘Stages at which development contributions may be required’ in our current Development Contributions Policy and the Local Government Act 2002.

When do I need to pay?

Payment of a development contribution is due once you receive a notice of requirement for development contributions on the granting of resource consent, building consent, authorisation of service connection, or Certificate of Acceptance.

If that development contribution charge is not paid, we may:

  • withhold a certificate under s224(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991
  • prevent the commencement of a consent under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • withhold a Code Compliance Certificate under section 95 of the Building Act 2004
  • withhold a service connection.

For detail, check section 12: ‘Payment of development contributions’ in our current Development Contributions Policy and the Local Government Act 2002.

How are development contributions calculated?

Development contributions are calculated by sharing the cost of growth-related capital expenditure in a specified area by the amount of growth expected in that area, or across the whole city for city-wide growth infrastructure (e.g. the ring road and wastewater plant capacity upgrades).

Contributions will vary depending on the Development Contributions Policy applicable to the development, the type of development, and the area of the city that you develop in.

Why do I have to pay?

With population growth comes increased demand for infrastructure. Growth in the city cannot be sustained unless we fund a portion of growth-related infrastructure through development contributions.

Developers benefit from using existing infrastructure and will place additional pressure on it, requiring us to increase capacity or build new infrastructure. If we did not charge development contributions, existing residents would be paying for new infrastructure that others will profit from.

This is why developers are asked to contribute towards Council's growth-related costs.

Policies and other documents

Refer to the policy that was in force at the time your resource consent, building consent, Certificate of Acceptance and/or service connection was lodged. Development contributions must be consistent with the content of that policy.

We can confirm which policy is applicable to your development. Ask our Development Contributions team if you need to view policies prior to 1 July 2018. 

Our most recent development contribution policies are:

Development Contributions Policy 2023/2024

Operative from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.

Some development contribution charges in the 2023/24 Development Contributions Policy have been capped at a specific level.

Non-residential charges have been capped per 100sqm gross floor area (exclusive of GST) at $20,000 for industrial; $30,000 for commercial; and $40,000 for retail; for the total of water, wastewater and transport activities and correspondingly for stormwater on a site area basis. Where the base charge is less than the capped amount, the base charge applies. See section 9.8 of the Policy for more details

Development Contributions Policy 2022/2023

Operative from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.

Development Contributions Policy 2021/2022

Operative from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

Development Contributions Policy 2019/20​20

Operative from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021.

NOTE: We have updated the interest rates to take into account  an interest rate error in the development contributions model, and a revised schedule of charges, for the 2019/20 Development Contributions Policy. This is published below.

Any over payments made by developers under the affected policies (including appropriate interest) are in the process of being refunded. Please contact us if you have any questions about that process.

Revised schedules 2019 2020 DC Policy.

Development Contributions Policy 2018/19

Operative from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

NOTE: We have updated the interest rates in the development contributions model and published a revised schedule of charges for the 2018/19 Development Contributions Policy - see below.

Any over payments made by developers under the affected policies (including appropriate interest) are in the process of being refunded. Please contact us if you have any questions about that.

​Revised schedules 2018 2019 DC Policy.

Supporting information

​Please see below for the supporting information referred to in the Development Contributions Policy.

Share this page


Has this page been helpful?
Thanks for your feedback.

Last updated 11 April 2023