Do I have to Pay Everything the Council or Transport Agency asks me to?


My Council, or the NZ Transport Agency, says I have to pay them money because the traffic from my development/subdivision means they will have to upgrade their roads. Do I have to pay them what they are asking?


Not necessarily. Most Councils have “development contributions” policies that have been prepared and formally adopted under the Local Government Act. If the contribution is being sought under such a policy, then you can still challenge the decision, but will probably have to do so in a court of law. You would need the support of a lawyer, and possibly a traffic report, to do so.

If the contribution is being sought under a mechanism other than a formal development contributions policy, then you can probably challenge it in a Council hearing.

As an aside, the NZ Transport Agency has no legal means by which to obtain contributions for upgrading work on the State highways, but it still tries to extract such contributions on a regular basis. Developers can reach “side agreements” with the agency if they decide that is in their best interests. Otherwise, if they disagree with the amount the agency is seeking or believe they are not obligated to pay anything, then there are various means available to challenge the agency.

Please contact Dean Scanlen for further advice and information about this. 


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