Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Concern About Need To Pursue Court Action

5 April 2001

Councillor Kay McKelvie, Chairperson of Auckland City Council’s Finance and Property Committee, said today she was extremely irritated by the need to yet again pursue court action against businessman Mr John Spencer.

Mr Spencer has been in dispute with the Council since 1983 on the matter of public ownership of roads at the eastern end of Waiheke Island.

The disputed 7.3 kilometres of public road built by the Waiheke County Council in 1969/1970 completes the loop around Waiheke and provides the only public road access to the vicinity of the historic gun emplacement known as Stony Batter.

In 1997 the High Court found that the disputed roads were public roads belonging to the Council. This was followed by two Appeal Court dismissals of appeals lodged by Mr Spencer. He has now obtained leave from the Court of Appeal to appeal to the Privy Council.

The Finance and Property Committee has recommended that the Council defend Mr Spencer's appeal to the Privy Council and that the matter of costs in the High Court be pursued.

"Auckland City Council has no realistic option other than to oppose Mr Spencer's appeal to the Privy Council and conclude this dispute," said Councillor McKelvie.

"Over a period of nearly 20 years, the Council has spent $1.2 million, mainly in legal costs, on this case and we must look to recouping some of those costs, as well as ensuring the public has the access to property that is rightfully theirs," she said.


For further information, please contact:
Councillor Kay McKelvie, tel: 864 7076 or 025 279 6448.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED.

The following is a brief summary of events to date in this case:

1969/70 Roads built by the Waiheke County Council with financial assistance from Government’s 8:1 Backblocks Roading Fund.

1979/80 Mr Spencer buys the relevant land. It was soon clear that he did not accept the Council’s view that the roads were public roads.

1983 Council filed its claim in the High Court to resolve the dispute.

September/ October 1996 Trial of the case in the High Court at Auckland before Justice Anderson.

August 1997 First decision of the High Court. The Court found that approx. 7.3 kilometres of the disputed roads were public road belonging to Council. Council’s claim failed only in respect of two parts of the roads – a short distance of a few hundred metres from the boundary of one of the Spencer titles to Stony Batter, and ‘the south western deviation’ (which connects the road at Man O’War Bay to the south western entrance of the Spencer properties).
As a consequence of these decisions the Court awarded damages of $15,000 to Mr Spencer for Council’s trespass over the parts of road that were not found to be public. There was also an award of $5,000 to Mr. Spencer to compensate for gates removed from the roads from time to time by the Council. On the other hand the Court dismissed a counterclaim brought by the Spencer interests against Council for approximately $2 million.

July 1998 Second decision of the High Court. This was necessary because Mr Spencer had refused to agree about the width of the roads dedicated as public road. The Court upheld Council’s argument that a minimum width of one chain applied. This decision also clarified various details of the earlier decision and allowed the parties to formally seal the judgement and initiate to appeal process.
Page Four

March 2000 First Court of Appeal hearing. At Mr Spencer’s request a full court of 5 Judges was convened.

April 2000 First decision of the Court of Appeal. Mr Spencer’s appeal was dismissed. A cross appeal by Council was allowed with the result that (a) the south western deviation was found to be public road belonging to Council and (b) the award of damages in Mr Spencer’s favour was reduced by $10,000. The decision was unanimous. The Court also ordered Mr. Spencer to pay Council costs of $15,000. and disbursements in connection with the case in the Court of Appeal.

May - July 2000 Mr Spencer initiated the process for an appeal to the Privy Council in London.

27 November 2000 Second decision of the Court of Appeal dismissing Mr Spencer’s claim. The Court also awarded Council further costs of $3,500 and disbursements in connection with the second Court of Appeal hearing.

December 2000 Mr Spencer obtained conditional leave from the Court of Appeal to appeal both the substantive decision and the subsequent bias decision to the Privy Council. The significant condition related to the preparation of the Record of Proceedings for filing in the Privy Council within three months.

February 2001 Final leave to pursue the appeal is given by the Court of Appeal.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election