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Paying Rates

When to Pay

We divide your annual rates into four instalments. The payment dates are the same every year and rates must be paid on or before the last day for payment to avoid a 10% late penalty.

Instalment No. Rates due: Covering the period:
1 20 August 1 July – 30 September
2 20 November 1 October – 31 December
3 20 February 1 January – 31 March
4 20 May 1 April – 30 June

Rate notices for each instalment are sent in the middle of the month (approximately) before the last day for payment.

How to Pay 

There are different ways to pay rates. If you need advice about how to set up different payment systems give us a call on 06 370 6300.


Receipts aren’t issued unless you pay at the counter or you request one. If you mailing your payment and you want a receipt, return the entire invoice and tick the “Receipt is Required” box on the remittance advice.

Paying Online

You can pay your rates online through internet banking by depositing payment into our bank account: MDC’s Rates Account, Westpac, 03 0687 0271682 04.

Quote your six-digit property number (on your rates notice) as the reference. If you own more than one property, you’ll need to set up individual payments for each property with each property number included as a reference. Please make sure payments are made before the due date.

You can also make one-off online payments.

Automatic Payment and Direct Debit

You can pay your rates invoice through direct debit on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Fill out the below form:

Direct Debit Form (PDF, 2MB)

You can also set up your own automatic payments through telephone, internet or online banking. Your annual rates change every year so make sure your automatic payments are recalculated to cover your annual rates. Make sure your automatic payments are enough to cover each instalment and are paid before the due date, otherwise there may be a 10% late payment fee.

Quote your six-digit property number (on your rates notice) as the reference when making automatic payments.

Manual Payments

You can come and see us at 161 Queen Street to pay your rates by cheque, EFTPOS, or cash. Our office is open 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday. You can also mail payment to PO Box 444, Masterton, 5840. You need to make sure postal payments are sent in time to reach us before the due date, otherwise there will be a 10% late payment penalty.

Late Payments

Unpaid rates (arrears)

If you have unpaid rates (arrears), any payments you make will be put towards paying these off first. We work hard with residents to help them pay rates on time, and will be in touch if we notice late payments.

If rates continue to be unpaid we can list your arrears as a debt with a collection agency, this will affect your credit rating for up to five years. We may also contact a bank or person holding a mortgage on your property requesting immediate payment of arrears. If necessary legal proceedings can be started to recover the unpaid rates. If rates remain unpaid, Council may sell your property to recover the arrears.

Late payment penalties

If you are late paying your rates a 10% late payment penalty is charged, based on how much of the current instalment is still unpaid. You can avoid the late payment penalty by paying in full by the due date. Another 10% penalty will be charged on the 1st of July on the total of any of the previous years unpaid rates outstanding on that date.

Rates Rebates | Getting Help Paying

The Rates Rebate Scheme is an annual rates subsidy (credited to the rate account) for low-income homeowners. The Scheme is run by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and we process the applications.

To find out more you can phone us on 06 370 6300 or visit the website where there is more information about rebates, a calculator and the application form.

How are rebates calculated?

Rebates are calculated based on the household income before tax, the number of dependents and the rates levied against the property. There are other criteria which we can discuss upon application.

How much is a rebate?

Rebate levels are reassessed every year by DIA. The current maximum rebate is $640 which reduces down to $1 on a sliding scale, dependent on individual circumstances. 

How much can I earn and still qualify for a rebate?

As a very rough guide, a household income of $35,000 or less may qualify for the maximum rebate. Ratepayers with household Income above this may qualify for a partial rebate. Again, this a very rough guide and eligibility/amount of the rebate depends on individual circumstances.

There is an on-line calculator at the DIA website and Council staff are available to assist in assessing eligibility. 

How do I apply for a rebate?

The best way to apply is to make an appointment to come into Council, we have printed forms available and the team will go through it with you. The application form is also on the DIA website and can be printed off, completed, and returned to Council.

At the beginning of the rating year (1 July ‐ 17 August) you will need to book a time to come in because of high demand. From 1 September to 30 June you won’t need an appointment but please avoid 3 days either side of a rates penalty date (20 August, 20 November, 20 February and 20 May).

What will I need to apply for a rebate?

You will need:

  • Information about what your income was (before tax) for the tax year preceding the current rating year.
  • Information about what your partner/joint homeowner’s income (if applicable) was if they were normally living with you on the start of the rating year (1 July).
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