All Services - overview and cost per week

Every year South Waikato ratepayers make an annual rates contribution to Council. This page on our website will help you to understand what Council does on your behalf and show you how much of your rates goes towards funding each of these activities.

We have chosen to tell this story by breaking each service or activity down into a cost per week. *Figures are based on an urban property in Tokoroa that is valued at $116,000.

Activities are listed from lowest funded activity to highest funded activity. Each activity provides a summary overview, how it is funded and what it costs per week (refer * above).

Value for money

Council believes that it offeres exceptional value for money for its range of services. The twenty two services outlined below total $26.54 per week (average, refer * above). Consider that the average price of one cup of coffee is $5 - delivers one service, a caffeine hit; the average electricity bill is $43 a week - delivers one service, power; and the average price of one movie ticket for one movie is $16 - delivers one service, entertainment. *source:

Council services are pretty good value!

PDF version

Our services poster can be viewed in pdf format here. This link is a large image that will be easier to read using the zoom tool and scroll bars. Alternaitvely the content is detailed on this page.


  • rates - this is general rate funded, ie everyone pays the same
  • targeted rates - this rate is targeted to specific people/properties, ie only people in that group (or area) pay this rate
  • fees and charges - this charge is user fees, ie if you use the service you pay a fee​

Cemeteries (cost per week - $0.07)

There are four cemeteries in the South Waikato, one in Tīrau, two in Putāruru and one in Tokoroa. Local authorities have a legal responsibility to make provision for public cemeteries. We perform around 80 burials and 40 ash interments each year. Council maintains all cemetery grounds and keeps records of all plots. These are searchable online via Council’s website.

Funded: 60% by the users (ie, fees and charges) and 40% by rates


Animal Control (cost per week - $0.28)

Our Animal Control officers are responsible for complaints regarding dogs and stock. Council also handles dog registrations and manages the dog pound. There are 3,808 dogs in the district registered to 2,541 dog owners. Council responds to around 2,256 animal control related queries each year.

Funded: ​60% by the users (ie, fees and charges) and 40% by rates



 Other Community Facilities (cost per week - $0.30)

Council owns and manages a number of community facilities including Council buildings, The Plaza, community halls, airfield, and others. ​Community Halls - 5% by users (ie, fees & charges) and 95% by targeted rates (only those in the hall rating area)


  • Property Management - 10% by users (ie, fees & charges) and 90% by rates
  • The Plaza and Tirau Hall - 100% by rates
  • Airfield - 60% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 40% by rates

Emergency Management (cost per week - $0.35)

​In emergencies that go beyond the capabilities of  emergency services such as Police and Ambulance, Council helps to access more resources and co-ordinate support to assist in protecting people and property. This activity also includes issuing rural fire permits and arrangements for rural fire fighting cover.

Funded: ​100% by rates


Building Control (cost per week - $0.37)

Council is an accredited Building Consent Authority (BCA) which manages, processes and inspects consented building work. The Building Control team administers this process, which is designed to ensure that buildings within the South Waikato meet all the criteria under the Building Act 2004. This can be anything from processing the application, inspecting building work during construction, issuing code of compliance certificates and administering building warrants of fitness. Around 480 building consent applications are processed each year.

Funded: 50% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 50% by rates

Health Services and Monitoring (cost per week - $0.41)

The Environmental Health section covers an unusually vast array of activities.
Whenever you go out for a slice of cake, pick up a bottle of wine, go for a haircut - or visit other businesses like motels, camping grounds, funeral directors, our Environmental Health Team has already made sure the business maintains good standards of hygiene and follows government regulations, giving you confidence in the facilities and providing for community safety and wellbeing. Around 220 health licences are issued each year.

The team also:

  • respond to over 1,300 nuisance complaints a year, including noise, vermin, long grass and insanitary conditions
  • investigate infectious diseases to stop an outbreak
  • provide safeguards following incidents involving hazardous substances, such as chemical spills from a vehicle accident
  • among a number of other duties!

Funded: ​30% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 70% by rates

South Waikato Sport and Events Centre (cost per week - $0.43)

Situated at the Tokoroa Memorial Sportsground, the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre overlooks the oval with the wider sportsground forming a backdrop. The facility has a two court arena and two function rooms (that can be one large one), and changing facilities for up to four teams. It has proven a popular venue for events and activities and was rated the highest performing activity in the 2015 customer satisfaction survey (96% satisfaction)!

Funded: 20% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 80% by rates

Public Toilets (cost per week - $0.46)

Council owns and maintains 33 public toilet blocks or single public toilets across the district. These are found in our CBD areas, public spaces in Council buildings and reserves. Public toilets are an important part of our tourism attractions, particularly along the Waikato River Trails and Te Waihou Walkway.

Funded: 100% by rates


Other Community Support (cost per week - $0.57)

Community development covers many activities including arts, events and culture - all of which strengthen our community cohesion and feed our community pride and spirit. Council encourages youth development through initiatives with other organisations, advocates on behalf of the community, manages social development contracts and funds and coordinates events such as Anzac Day celebrations and Balloons Visit South Waikato.

Funded: 100% by rates

Sportsgrounds (cost per week - $0.63)

Whether you’re playing rugby with your mates or watching your kids play soccer, the South Waikato’s sportsgrounds are always well maintained and available for all residents to use. Council manages and maintains six sportsgrounds across the district.

Funded: 5% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 95% by rates




Economic Development (cost per week - $0.77)

Council invests in promoting the South Waikato as an economically viable place for business and industry as well as having tourism opportunities. With the aid of the newly established South Waikato Investment Fund Trust, Council is focussed on encouraging strong economic development, promoting the South Waikato as a place to invest, funding information centres, marketing tourism opportunities, training and educational expansion for the district, and signature events.

Funded: ​100% by rates


Planning (cost per week - $0.91)

Every day people apply for resource consents for activities such as building a new business development or subdividing their properties. Resource consents are processed in accordance with Council’s District Plan and under the Resource Management Act (RMA). The RMA promotes the sustainable management of natural and physical resources such as land, air and water. Council’s duty is to ensure rigorous assessment of resource consent applications. Around 65 resource consent applications are processed each year.

Funded: ​35% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 65% by rates


Community Contracts and Grants (cost per week - $0.99)

Council grants funding to a number of organisations. Funded through this area are the Information Centres, the Waikato River Trails, TCOSS, Pride in Putāruru, Tokoroa Big Weekend, Overdale Community Centre, Hamilton Waikato Tourism, the Plaza, Sport Waikato and event funding. This area also funds the Community Development Grants that support community groups and their volunteers through a number of recreational, cultural, welfare and social activities. Financial assistance is given directly from Council or administered by Council on behalf of other parties.

Funded: 100% by rates


Swimming Pools (cost per week - $1.15)

Council provides safe hygienic pools for recreation and sporting activities. Public swimming pools are located in Tokoroa, Putāruru and Tīrau. The pool facility in Tokoroa is an indoor, heated, all year round operation. The outdoor pools in Putāruru and Tīrau are seasonal, open during summer months only. The South Waikato Indoor Pools in Tokoroa run several programmes from woggle classes to learn to swim classes.​


  • South Waikato Indoor Pool in Tokoroa - 20% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 80% by rates
  • Seasonal pools in Putaruru and Tirau - 10% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 90% by rates

Libraries (cost per week - $1.25)

The South Waikato has two libraries, one in Putāruru and one in Tokoroa. The Library in Putāruru serves a dual role as a service centre. Our libraries offer a wide range of services including books, e-books, puzzles, internet services, CDs, DVDs and much more. We have a library outreach programme in Tīrau called LibraryLink operating out of The Dog.
The library team run programmes for all ages of children from school holiday activity programmes to celebrating national promotion weeks such as Māori Language Week and Library Week, among others.

Funded: 10% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 90% by rates


Stormwater (cost per week - $1.25)

Council’s role in stormwater drainage is to provide effective drainage and disposal so that the roading network can function effectively and safely, reduce the risks to people from stormwater ponding for long periods and to mitigate the environmental effects of contamination of the stormwater discharge. There are 118.281km of stormwater pipes, open drains and watercourse in the urban stormwater network.
Stormwater drainage is also to prevent flooding of private property and to take stormwater from properties and road surfaces in pipes and open drains and disperse it into water courses.

Funded: Fully funded by targeted rates (urban ratepayers only)


Parks, playgrounds and reserves (cost per week - $1.63)

The South Waikato is a beautiful place to live, work and play, with more than 279 hectares of parks, reserves and playgrounds on our doorstep. Council’s parks and reserves include seven lakeside reserves, five scenic bush reserves, two recreational reserves, 59 other reserves and Te Waihou Walkway. These parks and reserves also house the district’s 12 playgrounds and two skateparks. We also maintain a number of plantation strips, flowerbeds, park furniture, roadside gardens and street trees. Council maintains the grounds, keeps environmental issues in check and makes sure all equipment is safe and in good condition.

Funded: ​5% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 95% by rates


Governance and Corporate (cost per week - $1.95)

Corporate costs include a share of all the administrative and management functions that support the governance and strategy development of Council, like general management, corporate planning, communications, community engagement, financial and information services. Goverance costs include elections and Councillor remuneration and expenses.​


  • 100% of the district governance and corporate management activity is funded by general rates
  • 100% of community governance (ie the Tīrau Community Board) is funded by targeted rates (Tīrau Ward ratepayers only)


Refuse Collection and Recycling (cost per week - $2.36)

Waste management involves a number of activities. Council owns and manages a transfer station in Putāruru and a landfill in Tokoroa. We do an urban household weekly refuse collection and an urban fortnightly recycling collection. We manage five recycling stations across the district and the main Croad Place recycling facility in Tokoroa.​


  • Landfill - 70% by users (ie, fees and charges) and 30% by rates
  • Recycling - 100% by rates
  • Refuse Collection - 55% by targeted rates (urban ratepayers only) and 45% by bag sales
  • General litter collection in CBD areas - 100% by rates

Roading (cost per week - $5.01)

The South Waikato has 540km of roads, 170km of footpaths, 45 bridges and large culverts, 38 stock underpasses, 3,030 signs and 2,158 streetlights. To ensure that travel around the district is as safe as possible, all of these assets are regularly maintained and improved upon.

Funded: 100% by rates (after subsidies - average just over 50%)




Water Supply (cost per week - $5.40)

Water - it’s for cleaning, drinking, showering, swimming and a whole lot more. It is the one thing we simply can’t live without! Council aims to provide a safe and reliable supply of water to residential, industrial and commercial properties. It also plays a role in supporting community safety through fire fighting capability.

Funded: Fully funded by targeted rates (urban ratepayers only)



Wastewater (cost per week - $5.43)

Ever wondered what happens when you flush the toilet? Ever thought where the water from the dishwasher goes? Ever considered what would happen if you had to deal with it all yourself? Council’s role in wastewater is paramount to public health and safety. We collect, remove and treat wastewater from all urban households to make it safe to discharge into the environment, either into a waterway or onto land. Council adheres to resource consents that are issued by the regional council to ensure our discharge has minimal effect on the environment. Council has four wastewater treatment systems.

Funded: Fully funded by targeted rates (urban ratepayers only)

Page reviewed: 06 Jan 2017 12:20pm