9 Aug 2014

Rust bucket may trigger new lawsuit

11:05 am on 9 August 2014

A Whangarei businessman is heading back to court to force the council to return his truck or pay him compensation.

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Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Whangarei Council impounded Brian May's truck last year, after he drove around town with signs accusing staff of being bullies and urging the council's chief executive to resign.

He also parked the truck for periods in the public carpark outside the council office.

The council claimed signs on another of Mr May's trucks, advertising his tyre company were illegally displayed, and prosecuted him, but the court found the council was in the wrong.

It also also criticised the council's signage bylaws as confusing and unclear.

Brian May said the council had now had his truck for 18-months and still won't give it back, despite the failed prosecution.

"So I think we'll just file proceedings and go for the doctor, " he said.

"These guys use their power and authority and over-step the mark. They've just got to be sorted".

Mr May said the council had stored his truck outside, and the 3-and-a-half-tonne Isuzu is turning into a rust bucket.

He said the court decision means the council seized the truck illegally and it should either fix it - or pay him out.

Mr May said he was hopeful of success in court the second time around.

"I defended myself the last time and the council flew up a barrister from Wellington and still managed to lose," he said.

The Whangarei council was not able to provide a response late on Friday.