By law (Rating Valuation Rules 2008) each district Council is required to value all infrastructure assets (utilities) in their region and place the valuations on the District Valuation Role. It is then up to each individual Council to make a decision around if and how these are to be rated.
In 2015 INZ identified an issue with how irrigation scheme assets proposed to be valued.
Irrigation schemes in New Zealand are forms of cooperatives where the scheme’s shareholders are also its customers. Irrigation schemes are relatively unique infrastructure as they:
- Occupy a fixed and defined command area;
- Are owned by the same parties that own the land that the schemes supply water to; and
- Are managed as cooperatives so as to minimise the cost of delivered water to the cooperative owners of the land.
As an irrigation scheme is owned by the irrigated land holders within the command area, the value of the irrigated land reflects the underlying productive capacity, the added value of water and the extent to which the water charges under recover the full economic cost of the infrastructure used to supply the water.
This relationship between the value of irrigated land and the value of the irrigation schemes supplying them differs from the relationship between other infrastructure, such as roads or electricity, and the value of the land that it services.