New residential and commercial developments place additional demand on the city's community infrastructure such as the transport network, water supply and parks.

A development contribution is a charge on new developments that place additional demand on capacity in the Council's facilities and infrastructure.

Development contributions of cash or sometimes land help fund the facilities and infrastructure that the Council provides to cater for growth.

Using development contributions to fund a fair share of the costs of providing additional facilities and infrastructure to cater for growth means the full cost is not borne by current ratepayers. It also means the Council can plan for and provide the right infrastructure at the right time to support the city's growth.

The information provided here is a summary only. Full information is available in the Council’s Development Contributions Policy 2021 [PDF, 5.7 MB].

Assessing for development contributions 

Development contributions can only be used to fund the growth-related cost of a capital project and not for improved levels of service, or maintenance and renewal costs.

The amount of contribution required depends on the property location and how many household unit equivalents (HUEs) of demand the development will add to infrastructure and facilities. One HUE equals the requirements for a typical residential home.

Contributions are also levied on commercial developments that place additional demand on council infrastructure and facilities. Calculating the demand for commercial developments is more complex, and takes into account floor area, the type of business and location. These developments are assessed case-by-case.

In the case of a commercial subdivision, the Council will assess the development contribution requirement as being one household unit equivalent per additional lot at the time of subdivision. When a subsequent application for resource consent or building consent is made to further develop the site a full assessment will be made based on the nature of the development. It is likely further development contributions will be required at this time to reflect the eventual demand on infrastructure.

Existing demand credits

Existing demand credits recognise that a development may replace previous development on the same site and therefore not place additional demand on infrastructure and facilities. If your development is replacing like with like you will not be required to pay development contributions. Intensified redevelopment of a site (say three townhouses replacing one house) will be assessed for the additional demand (two household unit equivalents) only.

Existing demand credits expire 10 years after the previous development on a site last exerted demand on infrastructure. If, over the preceding 10 year period, a lot has not been used for either residential or non-residential purposes, the land will be regarded as undeveloped and deemed to have 1 HUE existing demand credit. 

Limitations to existing demand credits:

  • Existing demand credits cannot be used to reduce the development contribution for any activity below zero.
  • Credits from one activity cannot be used to offset development contributions required for another activity. 

Redevelopment of a commercial site requires an assessment of the existing building to identify the demand credits available to offset the development contributions for the new development.

Contact the development contributions team to discuss having an estimate assessment undertaken.

What development contributions help fund

Christchurch City Council uses development contributions to help pay for infrastructure assets that provide growth capacity for the following activities.

Reserves

  • Regional parks
  • Garden and heritage parks
  • Sports parks
  • Neighbourhood parks

Network infrastructure

  • Water supply 
  • Wastewater collection
  • Wastewater treatment and disposal
  • Stormwater and flood protection
  • Road network
  • Active travel
  • Public transport infrastructure

Catchments 

The cost of providing facilities and infrastructure to cater for growth can vary for different areas of the city. To reflect this, development contributions for most activities are assessed based on the catchment or area of the city the development is located in.

The Council currently uses catchments to assess development contributions required for neighbourhood parks, water supply, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and disposal, stormwater and flood protection, road network, public transport and active transport.

Development contribution rebates

The Council currently has three development contribution rebate schemes operating.

  •  Central city residential rebate – within the four avenues
  • Social housing rebate
  • Development on Māori land within the Papakāinga/ Kāinga Nohoanga zone of the District Plan

Your development may be eligible for a rebate if it meets the criteria.