Leaders of a rates rebellion in Kaipara say the council is using dirty tactics in a bid to end the revolt.
The commissioners now running the Northland town have deferred funding for a Mangawhai recreation park, pending the outcome of court action against the council by the Mangawhai Ratepayers' Association.
The association's president, Bruce Rogan, says the funding from reserves contributions was agreed on long ago and the council is penalising Mangawhai's children and young people who need the park.
Mr Rogan says the council is trying to turn public opinion against the association.
The commissioners say the cost of defending the judicial review sought by the ratepayers' group over past unlawful rates will be high.
They say that creates uncertainty over funding for community projects and they are taking a cautious approach to spending.