Council rates paid by schools

Find out which rates schools are and are not required to pay to local council.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Proprietors
  • Administrators

Boards do not have to pay general rates for school land to the local council. The Crown is exempt under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. There is an exception for teacher and caretaker houses, and schools do have to pay targeted rates, detailed within the guidance. 

Schools do not have to pay general (land) rates

Boards do not have to pay general (land) rates to the local council.

If necessary, refer local council to Section 8(1), Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 which states that the land described in part one of Schedule 1 is non-rateable.

Section 8(1), Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

Schedule 1, Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 lists the ‘educational establishments’ that this applies to and includes:

  • state schools
  • state-integrated schools
  • specialist schools
  • specialist institutions as defined in Schedule 2, Education and Training Act 2020
  • private schools and
  • not for profit early childhood education centres.

Schedule 1, Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Schedule 2, Education and Training Act 2020 – NZ Legislation(external link)

General rates for houses

Schools still have to pay general rates for houses for teachers and caretakers that are on separate land titles and under board management, if they are not predominantly tenanted by a teacher or caretaker at a discounted or subsidised rate.

Houses for teachers and caretakers

Targeted rates

Schools do have to pay ‘targeted’ rates for sewerage (wastewater), water and rubbish collection if these are separately charged by the local council.

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