Joel Cayford: ‘Mangawhai Ratepayers at Court of Appeal’

Link received. [Hooray!]
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 at 10:50 a.m.

Joel Cayford (via Twitter)### joelcayford.blogspot.co.nz Thu, 27 August 2015
Mangawhai Ratepayers at Court of Appeal

Joel Cayford [‘Reflections on Auckland Planning’] updates the Court of Appeal hearing (25-26 August) – Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association v Kaipara District Council – in front of Justice Rhys Harrison, Justice Mark Cooper, and Justice Forrest Miller.

Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) is represented by Matthew Palmer QC and barrister Kitt Littlejohn. David Goddard QC represents the council.

Cayford summarises the “causes of action for this hearing – which followed the judicial review heard by Justice Heath (posts here and here)”:

“that the Kaipara District Council (KDC) does not have the power to rate for unlawful purposes. That KDC acted unlawfully in deciding to enter into and expand the Ecocare Wastewater Scheme, and that it could not then enforce rates on ratepayers.

“that the Validation Act did not retrospectively validate ALL matters stemming from those unlawful decisions. It only validated various historic rating defects. Significant matters – including the additional $30,000,000 loan were not dealt with or validated by the Validation Act.

“that the KDC acted inconsistently with the Bill of Rights Act by initiating Validation Legislation which had an effect of undermining MRRA judicial review proceedings – to which they had a right.”

Of critical interest, Cayford says Matthew Palmer, in his closing, “told the Justices, to the effect: “a consequence of adopting the arguments of my learned friend would mean that any Council in New Zealand can breech Local Government Act provisions with impunity, leave ratepayers with the bill, and mean that Long Term Plans all become window-dressing, ratepayer submissions become meaningless. That cannot have been what Parliament intended.””

█ Read Cayford’s excellent post and reader comments here.

LinkedIn: Joel Cayford

Although the Court of Appeal ruling is some way off, fallout might very well illuminate effects of the Dunedin stadium rort, council debt loading and issues of general competency.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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