Have your say on Nelson City Council's fees and charges consultation

Nelson City Council would like to know what you think of the proposed amendments to the fees and charges relating to its regulatory services.

The consultation period for fees and charges opened on 16 March, and will close on 16 April.

Council’s fees and charges for resource consents, environmental health licences and services, building consents and food and hospitality services have been reviewed.

The proposed changes would see that, where the current fees and charges are meeting an appropriate proportion of the costs of providing the services, they simply be adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index December 2020 rate of 1.4%,

Fees that will see only a minor change in line with the CPI include dog control and resource consent fees.

Other regulatory services including building consents, environmental health and food licences will increase above the CPI to allow for cost increases in providing those services.

Any approved changes to the fees will take effect from 1 July 2021.

Building Consent Fees

The Building Unit is responsible for issuing building consents, inspecting building work and issuing property information. Costs to recruit and retain qualified and experienced officers are increasing as are costs to engage external consultants or specialists. This directly increases the costs of providing this service.

Council aims to employ highly qualified and competent staff who can deal with the complexity of some of the applications received and can provide an excellent service for our clients. Our employment offerings need to be competitive in a tight market, and our fees need to be sufficient to cover the employment costs of these staff.

The proposal is to raise the hourly charge-out rates and fees to better cover the costs of providing the building and LIM services.

Some of the Council's current fees and charges are lower than those imposed by other territorial authorities of similar size for the same work.

Food Licencing Fees

The current fees were set when the Food Act 2016 came into effect. In the 2019/20 financial year, the charges covered 45% of the cost of the services Council provides – processing applications, issuing licences and inspecting premises. The proposed adjustment will allow Council to meet 49% of the cost of services provided from its regulatory fees, so that business owners who benefit from the service are paying a fairer share of the costs compared to ratepayers.

Environmental health fees

The environmental health fees and charges cover the service as Council provides under the Health Act, the Impounding Act and Maritime Transport Act. These fees have not changed since 1 July 2016 which means they are out of sync with the real cost of providing these services. Council is proposing an increase above the CPI to bring these charges more in line with costs.

End note: Section 101(3) of the Local Government Act 2002 provides that charges for regulatory functions are to be cost-effective, to recover the reasonable costs incurred by the Council in respect of the activity to which the charge relates, with those gaining the benefit from the regulatory service paying the reasonable cost for that service.

Please note: All submissions (including the names and contact details of submitters) are public information and will be available to the public and media in various reports and formats including on the Nelson City Council website.

Personal information will also be used for administration relating to the subject matter of submissions. Submitters have the right to access and correct any personal information included in any reports, information or submissions.

Make a submission now!

Select 'Draft Environmental Group Fees and Charges Review 2021' from the menu below to make a submission.

Submissions can also be made at nelson.govt.nz/consultations