Tag Archives: Courts

Mangawhai ratepayers let down by ruling #BadOmenDCC

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
RNZ News
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.
RNZ Link

Related Posts and Comments:
3.11.15 Kaipara Concerns —ADOTROL* disease [Dunedin mention, again!]
13.2.15 Associate Minister of Local Government: Return democracy to Kaipara
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
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

11 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, What stadium

Sunday Star-Times: Judge backs blogger’s fight against fraud

The following is reproduced in the public interest. The Grant Norman King website contains other media references and the Court’s full judgement. –Eds

blogging [andertoons.com] 2

Lawyer Madeleine Flannagan said the judge’s decision showed free speech was alive and well. […] The unique nature of the case, setting a new precedent in harassment laws, meant it was already being used by media law professors at Auckland University.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 25/05/2014
Judge backs blogger’s fight against fraud
By Rob Kidd – Sunday Star-Times
A fraudster’s victim who fought back has won a landmark battle to name and shame the man who scammed him and dozens of others.
Nearly two and a half years ago, Steve Taylor contracted Grant Norman King to build a sleepout for his elderly father behind the family home in West Auckland. Taylor paid three-quarters of the price – $23,500 – as a deposit. The sleepout was never built and the money was not returned.

In a bid to get even, Taylor brought civil proceedings against King but when the cost of continuing the case became prohibitive, he took a different tack, setting up the website grantnormanking.com with the intention of warning others who might be drawn in.

Within months other victims were clamouring to tell their stories and it was not long before Taylor built a comprehensive timeline of King’s offending. King then tried to turn the legal tables on Taylor by using the Harassment Act to sue Taylor and demand the website be taken down. Taylor was forced into Auckland District Court to defend himself. However, that was King’s mistake. “What he did was open up the opportunity for every other victim to tell their story, which was the very thing he was advocating against,” Taylor said. Affidavits in support of Taylor’s cause flooded in and he said it was surreal to be standing in court with the public gallery full of people backing him.

Taylor said more than 70 victims had come forward, across a 32-year span, claiming losses of more than $3 million.

In court Judge David Wilson sided with Taylor and said the website, with all its explosive accusations, could remain online. “It would be inappropriate if a man in Mr King’s position could close down postings of essentially factual material on the basis that it interferes with his commercial plans and deprives him of customers,” the judge said.
Full article

Related Post and Comments
23.5.14 Stadium | DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 ● Benson-Pope asserts himself

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: andertoons.com – blog (detail)

8 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Site

‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review

Official Information Act (OIA)
“At present, the Ombudsman was in charge of investigating complaints under the Act, but did not have any wider responsibilities. […] An information commissioner could be created, who would perform a similar role to the Privacy Commissioner or Human Rights Commissioner.”

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Review recommends broader scope for OIA
Source: NZ Herald
The Law Commission has recommended that all publicly funded agencies should be subject to official information requests, including courts, universities and boards of trustees. The commission has made more than 100 recommendations in “The Public’s Right to Know”, a review of the Official Information Act (OIA) which was tabled at Parliament yesterday. Lead commissioner for the report Prof John Burrows said main principles of the 30-year-old Act were sound, but it needed to be upgraded for the digital age.

“We think there’s a case now for saying if a body is receiving public funding and is performing a public function it should be accountable under the OIA.”

The review also recommended re-drafting some of the grounds for withholding information – such as “good government” and “commercial sensitivity” – which were unclear.

The Justice Ministry and Department of Internal Affairs would consider the recommendations, and were expected to act on them within six months.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Politics, What stadium

Rates Revolt- Words of Wisdom

Letter to Editor (yes another) Cyril Gilfedder, former Registrar High Court.

To clarify what I have already said about the rates revolt (it would be terrible if this was a poorly researched site eh Calvin).

“If payment is delayed until the last day for payment, then it may have a minor impact on council cash flow. If so, council borrows and ratepayers pay. If payment is delayed until after due date, legislation provides that the ratepayer is liable for penalties and, depending when paid, debt collection with court costs, solicitors fees, judgement, interest, publication in the Mercantile Gazette, loss of credit worthiness and, if one wants to be absolutely stupid, the sale of the property…

To be successful with any appeal, the appellant needs to have good grounds. Appeals cost heaps of money and the loser pays. Here we have ratepayers vs ratepayers. So who wins? the only winners are consultants and lawyers.”

Not a lot to be said about it, other than heed the advice from someone who has seen a lot in the courts system, and realise that dear leader isn’t even partaking in the rates revolt – now I wonder why?

1 Comment

Filed under Economics, Politics, STS