Received from our northern friends (html email partially rebuilt here).
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 4:10 p.m.
Getting the Validation Bill ready for Parliament
● The new Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) website can be viewed here.
● “When Government Goes Bad” – see the MRRA video on YouTube.
The KAIPARA VALIDATION BILL
KAIPARA’S PROBLEMSParliament “solves” the problems of Kaipara with the Validation Bill
● OAG report: Summary
● OAG report: Full Report* (click the sections on the left)
*Link to download report (PDF, 2.6 MB; 423 pages) is broken at OAG website.
A MESSAGE FROM THE MRRA
3 February 2014
The day that JUSTICE finally comes to Kaipara
Come to the Court Case in Whangarei 3-7 February
The High Court is located at 105-109 Bank Street Whangarei
The hearing commences at 10 AM.
You have paid for this, so come and watch it play out. Those who came last time were glued to their seats for the whole day. Watching our justice system in action when the matter is one you are involved in is a riveting experience.
[Six days at court] might be needed but we won’t know until Feb 3rd. The hearing should play out as follows: Administrative stuff first, then MRRA puts its case (possibly all of Monday and some of Tuesday), then KDC puts its case Tuesday and all of Wednesday. Then MRRA replies, which will take part of Friday. The judge will then sum up and indicate what he is going to do, and perhaps reserve his decision which he would then hand down in writing some time later.
The Judge has instructed that a second courtroom be made available with closed-circuit TV to accommodate the large number expected to attend this hearing.
In an earlier decision the Judge said that this judicial review raises important legal questions of wide public interest.
It may be one of the most important cases in connection with Local Government that has ever gone to trial in New Zealand. The issues at stake are of fundamental significance to everyone who lives in this country. This is not a tiff over rates. This is a test of what power elected and appointed officials really have to take money from ratepayers and taxpayers and use it in any way they choose. The Government and the Kaipara District Council (KDC) both say that councils must have the power to take any amount of money they want, for any purpose whatsoever, and the ratepayer has no say at all in the process.
If you think that’s OK, then we have not reached you. If you think it is not OK but nothing can be done about it, please be assured that something can be done — and it is in the High Court where that will happen. Eventually, the people will call a halt to the madness.
COUNCIL INCOMPETENCE 29.01.14
Frank Newman comments here on the Dunedin City Council’s fancy $230 million covered stadium that “will forever be a black hole that eats ratepayer money”.
There will be no easy fix for Dunedin’s ratepayers. Their elected representatives of the day were reckless and ratepayers will be punished for a very long time because they (as a society) elected a reckless bunch of people to make decisions on their behalf.
I do not know of the Dunedin Councillors complied with the law and consulted with ratepayers but Kaipara ratepayers find themselves in a very similar situation.
The debt for EcoCare is completely unmanageable for a small council such as the KDC but the Commissioners and the Banks have so far delayed the inevitable day of judgement by mesmerising ratepayers with promises of only three percent rate increases over the next ten years.
How can that happen, you might ask, when there is such a massive debt to pay? The answer is that it can’t. But to levy high rates now and charge extra capital payments per household right across the district would result in a massive rate strike and civil disobedience and the collapse of the KDC.
To prevent that, the Commissioners and the Banks have made promises of minimal rate rises that cannot be substantiated and are so dishonest that they border on the criminal. They are nothing more than a confidence trick and the reality is that, sooner or later, ratepayers across the district will be billed for the principal of the debt. Generations of Kaipara ratepayers will pay for the EcoCare folly just as generations of Dunedin ratepayers will pay for their Stadium folly.
The only difference is that the MRRA has challenged the validity of the Kaipara debt in the High Court and is asking that Court for a ruling that ratepayers are not responsible for an illegal debt that was secretly entered into by the Councillors.
Never before have ratepayers made such a challenge and no doubt many ratepayers across the country will be awaiting the outcome.
If Councils can operate outside the law with utter impunity, with all the watchdogs sound asleep, and the ratepayers have to pay all the bills, then we have been conned into being the peasants at the bottom of a 21st Century feudal system.
That is not a good place to be but unless we get behind the MRRA and support its action, then that is where we will end up.
LAST WORD from What if? Dunedin…
Will DCC’s stadium review be enough? Answer: NO
We’re staying busy —can’t blog it.
Related Posts and Comments:
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr