NRC to ap­peal court or­der

The Bay Chronicle - - WHAT’S ON - AN­NETTE LAMBLY

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.

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