Buddhist temples and centres can apply for an exemption from paying certain portions of their local authority rates. Churches and other places of worship or religious education are “non-rateable” (under Section 8 of the Local Government Rating Act, part 1 section 9).
Land used for instruction or training of “students in theology” (which we assume may apply to monks and nuns, etc.) is non-rateable under Section 8 of the Local Government Rating Act, part 1 section 7 up to 1.5HA per institution.
If your group owns land, or if it is renting a property, it is possible that you will be able to get this exemption by applying to your local authority/city council (e.g. Auckland Council, if based in Auckland). The local council would need to assess specific premises.
With a rented property, ensure that the property is being used with the right resource consent/permits for which it is zoned before applying. You should then talk to the property owner.
More information: Church property and local authority rates: A Summary of the Provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002