17 Jun 2013

Kaipara rates case in court next month

4:29 pm on 17 June 2013

Mangawhai ratepayers who refuse to stump up for the debts of Kaipara District Council, will have their day in court in August.

Landowners in the coastal town are seeking a judicial review of rates charged for a sewerage system that was supposed to cost about $25 million - and ended up costing nearly $60 million.

A bill to validate the dubious rates retrospectively, has passed its first reading in Parliament.

Mangawhai Ratepayers Association chairman Bruce Rogan said the wrong-doing involved is too important to be swept under the carpet.

He said the council borrowed without the ratepayers' knowledge to cover cost blow-outs that were also hidden from the public and the Auditor-General failed to pick up those errors.

Mr Rogan said ratepayers should not have to pick up the bill where a council acted illegally

The Kaipara rates case is set down for 16 August in the High Court at Whangarei.