Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!

Received from our northern friends (html email partially rebuilt here).
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 4:10 p.m.

MRRA 1aGetting 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 BILLMRRA 3

KAIPARA’S PROBLEMSMRRA 4Parliament “solves” the problems of Kaipara with the Validation Bill

LATEST NEWS
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.

[ends]

****

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

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9 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

9 responses to “Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!

  1. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    All of Dunedin, here is the crux of the matter.
    The rights of the ratepayer or the rights of the public servant to be the Dick Turpin of our era.

    Whatever the legal result which given the national government’s position will be negative, the people of New Zealand must stop the continuous growth of the public service, their rights to extract monies from citizens without justification, moral or legal.

    The key elements are

    The drive to empire building
    The insane salaries and wages paid to persons who cannot do their jobs (and therefore hire consultants)

    The results

    Dunedin stadium
    Kaipara water treatment
    Graft
    Corruption

    And ultimately theft of your nest egg or assets

  2. Anonymous

    Many rate and rentpayers still do not understand or do not want to see that they are accountable for the reckless spending of those before. This is a massive rort, made possible by a number of criminals inside the system to benefit a few criminals outside. Millions have been strategically siphoned from the ratepayers to increase the wealth of a few. The hundreds of millions we are paying has been wasted on expensive homes, cars, boats, blow and adult entertainment. Some might still recall something similar involving the health board – well, this isn’t $17M, it’s $230M and much, much more.

    Except the stakeholders are getting away with it.

    This is their belief and they want to continue this power:

    […] 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.

    And they know you will pay for it:

    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.

    What’s that? The media reports its only a 3% rates rise? Ooooh, look over there in the ODT, the council has $600,000 to spend on something fruity… good for them.

  3. █ Rates focus in review of stadium
    The Dunedin City Council’s review of the Forsyth Barr Stadium operating model will have to grapple with the potential to fuel a money-go-round that could drive up rates across the city, council staff say.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289791/rates-focus-review-stadium

    █ Targeted rate for events dropped
    The Dunedin City Council has scrapped an ”unworkable” plan to hike rates for some businesses – but not others – to help pay for the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s events fund, deputy mayor Chris Staynes says.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289822/targeted-rate-events-dropped

    █ Rates focus in review of stadium
    The Dunedin City Council’s review of the Forsyth Barr Stadium operating model will have to grapple with the potential to fuel a money-go-round that could drive up rates across the city, council staff say. http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289792/realignment-dispute-bill-likely-top-1m

    Either way, we all pay for DCC’s stupidity in building the stadium as primed by businessmen-crooks in cahoots with the then conniving council CEO and worthless mayor.

    • Mike

      BTW I suspect there’s a benefit to forgiving rates rather than paying it and reimbursing it in some form – in short it’s a way to avoid GST

  4. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    In the main a business does not pay GST, if you are correct and the council is using some sleight of hand to avoid GST then there is only one word for it FRAUD.

    • Mike

      Businesses pay GST on the difference between the GST on their incomings and the GST on their outgoings – they do have to pay the GST on their rates – in simple cases the rule is that a business that’s losing money like DVML probably gets a net GST cheque from the IRD – because they pay more GST than they take in.

      DVL though, which simply takes rent from DVML and pays interest on the mortgage with it, probably has to pass 15% of that to the IRD (unless they have a way to write off the GST they paid while building the stadium).

      What I don’t understand is how the money that the DCC gives to DVML is treated – if GST is attached then it’s a wash, if it’s not then, yes, simply magically lowering their rates saves them the GST on the rates, while if the city charges them the normal rates and then bails them out they would owe more GST – even though they continue to receive the same services as a full ratepayer.

      Is it a rort? fraud? I don’t know, if I was running a competing entertainment venture I wouldn’t be happy, it’s certainly not fair, avoiding tax this way is arguably not moral.

  5. Notes received from Anonymous (yesterday):

    The real challenge in the (Mangawhai) MRRA case is whether the Judiciary is prepared to bend to the wishes of “the government”.

    This is the stuff that is nothing to do with Mangawhai but is a rumbling sub text which could influence the outcome of the court case.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/01/finlayson-vs-law-society-amnesty-international-who-censored-government-report/ The Judges are pretty brassed off as well.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/top-lawyer-quits-after-dipping-out-solicitor-general-job-rh-p-123896 Palmer hates Finlayson!!!

  6. Trouble in the ‘sand pit’ again? Toy tossing is a regular happening anywhere around the Beehive.

  7. Link supplied.
    Judge presiding over judicial review also hearing the lengthy South Canterbury Finance fraud trial…

    ### nzherald.co.nz 2:00 PM Thursday May 8, 2014
    Judge’s workload delays Mangawhai ruling
    By Mike Barrington – Northern Advocate
    A High Court ruling on a Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (MRRA) application for a judicial review of controversial Kaipara District Council (KDC) rates could be handed down later this month. But if it is released in the next three weeks the decision will contain no reasons for its findings. The judge who heard the MRRA application in the High Court at Whangarei in February, Justice Paul Heath, last week advised the association and the government-appointed commissioners representing the KDC opposing the application that he was pushed for time to produce his decision.
    Read more

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