NRC to appeal court order
The Northland Regional Council is seeking an urgent hearing to appeal against a recent High Court decision quashing several years of its rates in the Kaipara district.
The court found for the plaintiffs (the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association and Richard Bruce Rogan and Heather Elizabeth Rogan) on issues with the council’s rating practices.
These issues were how council set due dates for the payment of rates and its arrangements for rate collection within the Kaipara district.
Last month’s High Court order set aside the regional council’s rates for the Kaipara district for the five rating years 2011/12 to 2015/16 inclusive and any penalties imposed by – or on behalf of the council over that same period.
While no order was made requiring the council to refund the rates and penalties involved, the court’s decision could have implications for local authorities nationally including Whangarei and the Far North should ratepayers call a hearing to have the rates refunded.
Estimated costs for the appeals are in the order of $170,000 to $190,000.
Shepherd acknowledges the costs are significant, but says the council feels the issues at stake are too important not to appeal.
Bruce Rogan says he had hoped NRC would not take this tact since he had offered endless options for a settlement of the process.
The Rogans have been in a long running dispute over the legality of their NRC rates.