25 Feb 2012

Amalgamation wanted by Ratepayers Assn

6:17 am on 25 February 2012

The Mangawhai Ratepayers Association says it believes most people there want to leave Kaipara District Council and join Whangarei.

The association is promoting a rates strike, after a report confirming the Kaipara council illegally levied $9 million worth of sewerage and forestry rates without statutory authority.

Association chair Bruce Rogan says the council has shown it is not competent to handle high-value projects like the Mangawhai sewerage scheme.

He says the government should install a commissioner, inquire into the council's financial dealings in the past decade and review the amalgamation question.

Mr Rogan says Mangawhai was originally placed in the Kaipara District because most of its ratepayers were bach-owning farmers from that area.

But he says that changed long ago and high land values at Mangawhai now contribute nearly half Kaipara's total rate revenues.

Mr Rogan says Mangawhai people shop in Whangarei - not Dargaville where the council is based.