Link received from John Evans
█ Message: Why you should be extremely concerned about DCC financial stupidity.
[Are Dave, Sue and Grant rubbing their hands ? -Eds]
### radionz.co.nz Thu, 12 Nov 2015 at 8:22 pm NZT
Court ruling dismays Mangawhai ratepayers
By Lois Williams, RNZ Northland Reporter
Mangawhai people challenging rates set by the Kaipara District Council are dismayed by their latest defeat in court.
The Whangarei District Court has thrown out the arguments of Mangawhai Ratepayers’ Association president Bruce Rogan that his rates and many others set since 2006 were invalid because of multiple errors in the rating assessments. He said the council did not dispute the errors but the court had essentially said they did not matter.
“Things like setting the rates inclusive of GST, there’s absolutely no power in the act to do that,” Mr Rogan said. “It’s not a matter of them (the council) saying they didn’t do these things; they actually said they did them and said so in court.” Councils should not be able to use the law to gouge ratepayers when they did not comply with it themselves, he said. “It’s the end of civil society as we know it if this is allowed to stand. That may sound over-dramatic but if we don’t have a legal system that interprets the law as it is written then we’re all doomed.”
The association was still waiting for a Court of Appeal decision after it challenged the council in the High Court over its right to bill ratepayers for council debts they were not told about. The High Court found the Kaipara District Court’s borrowing to expand the Mangawhai Ecocare wastewater system was unlawful, because ratepayer had not been consulted about it. However, it could not rule on the rates levied to pay for the bank loans because Parliament had passed a special bill to validate them.
Mr Rogan owes the council $22,000 in rate arrears and has offered to pay the portion he believed was lawfully levied, minus penalties.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
11 responses to “Mangawhai ratepayers let down by ruling #BadOmenDCC”
This seems like a pretty ill wind. But since such a wind may not do anyone any good, it may expose not only the Kaipara District Council but given time the DCC and the Government as unjust, uncaring and acting against their own citizens illegally. At least we know where we all stand!
raymac97, very sympathetic to your view
I think local government law has always been like that – a council doing something wrong doesn’t invalidate their actions.
Crazy, law is an ass.
The law is written to benefit those who wrote it.
Sort of along the lines of – everything we have written here about justice and fairness applies to you people but not to us.
What this ruling demonstrates is that the governance of our city needs to start with the election process.
The concept of electing defrocked lawyers, disgraced members of parliament, unemployed ex-students with no commercial nous, TV presenters et al because their name is known is a practice which will hurt you, the elector, with one chance of affecting your livelihood every three years needs serious evaluation. Remember a penny saved is a penny earned.
The only chance that you have is to elect persons with vast commercial experience particularly in running businesses frugally.
Experienced in local government, a huge disincentive for you as the last ten years has demonstrated that anyone involved in local government has zero experience in a low investment climate.
An executive in a big business, again no good, unless that business employed few staff and had a huge construct on profitability and not involved in large staff numbers and overpaid executives, the NZ racing board and Fonterra demonstrate a bureaucracy that even those at the DCC would covet.
Dunedin is a small business town or should be with a large University that needs jobs for its graduates to retain credibility.
The days of gaining a degree for the sake of learning a discipline is over, with the government taking 56% of all income as tax, just to survive graduates need income unless they are going to sleep under bridges.
Dunedin cannot afford to be world leaders in job destruction which it has proven to be (apart from the DCC itself which you fund, or the University which again you or the students fund).
It is clear that the left element in this council has been enormously destructive for job creation in Dunedin and also responsible for some of the worst financial excesses including the creation of the cycleway masterpiece and the lack of maintenance of important ratepayer assets, in particular the lack of admnistration of the mud clearing contract. You may say how was this element responsible, well without the spending excesses of the various DCC departments on the white elephants and job creation schemes the left supported, the finances would have been available to manage wastewater, sewage treatment, St Clair erosion and the general maintenance of other city assets not yet exposed, but vulnerable.
What is needed in Dunedin is an elected group intent in the short term on the tactics of the “chainsaw”, Albert Dunlap.
If you have a better suggestion for solving Dunedin’s finances and curbing the excesses of most city councils in New Zealand, please advise me, I’m keen for a new plan. Remember Dunedin has the equal top Debt per Capita ratio in New Zealand, over $15,000 that you a ratepayer now owes the DCC, your only hope of escape is to sell and hopefully escape to a lower debt economy that does not do a Kaipara or Dunedin. The other top rater Auckland at least has a core of younger income earners to hopefully get over their debt and survive.
Dunedin does not and cannot afford to do anything but try to reduce this debt per capita rapidly and intelligently.
This, John P.Evans, should be framed —but none of Dave or Sue’s gilt mouldings, thank you. Austerity rules, except not for the DCC boosters (Oxford-Italy jaunts)(Staff training tenured boondoggles) which is: A FLOURISHING CULTURE OF EXCESS AND DEPRAVED AND DECEITFUL THINKING.
Witness the Proposed 2GP. Defective. With significant potential to negatively impact private property values.
John P. Evans: What you are talking about is standing a ticket – or wanting someone else to. The kind you want to vote for.
Does that mean the city should sell assets? If I was in debt and paying crippling interest, I would sell assets – except for essential things I needed to actually use, like my house. (If I actually had any other assets. Speaking theoretically here.)
Well said John P. Evans, I am in total agreement with all you have written, it should be essential reading for everyone who has the ability to vote in next year’s local body elections.