2 Mar 2016

Council spends $270k chasing $25k debt

12:50 pm on 2 March 2016

Council spends $270k chasing $25k debt

The Taranaki Regional Council has spent $270,000 chasing a $25,000 debt from three Waitara environmentalists.

Friends of the Waitara River

Friends of the Waitara River members, from left, Andrea Moore, Fiona Clark and Robert Taylor. Photo: RNZ/ Robin Martin

Last year the Friends of the Waitara River members lost a High Court appeal against an order forcing them to pay more than $12,000 for the cost of an independent consents hearing.

Including court costs, Fiona Clark, Robert Taylor and Andrea Moore owe the council about $25,000.

Fiona Clark said they had repaid about $17,000 and the bankruptcy proceedings were unnecessary.

"It's vindictive to pursue money off residents who've been honourable, we're paying it back, we've paid it almost all back. It's becoming vindictive now."

Regional council chair David MacLeod said the bankruptcy proceedings were regrettable but wiping off the debt would set a bad precedent.