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Glenfield Residents Association to ARC


Glenfield Ratepayers & Residents Association (Inc)

Chairman; David Thornton

77 Hillcrest Avenue, Northcote, NORTH SHORE CITY

[09] 443 5302 email; david@kandu.co.nz mobile 0274 831 825

Tuesday 29th July 2003

FAX FOR ARC Councillor and Chairperson GWEN BULL - Guest at the Millenium Hotel, Queenstown.

Dear Gwen,

I am shocked at your increasing intransigence in denying the demands of your ratepayers.

You are, I am sure, well aware of our petition which is now circulating region-wide - and indeed beyond.

The full text of that petition demands that the ARC reset its rates in accordance with Section 119 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

Last Saturday evening you were asked, in a TV news interview, if the ARC would react positively to our demand for a resetting of the rates.

Your response was to say that going down that road would mean sending peoples' money back, going through a new public consultative process about how to rate, and then sending out new rates demands.

You then asked if that was what ratepayers wanted.

I have to tell you that is exactly what ratepayers across the Auckland region want.

Will you please call an Extraordinary meeting of your council this week to consider the demands in our petition.

As you will also be aware this petition, which originated from the Glenfield Ratepayers & Residents Association, has now been adopted by other Associations and supporters throughout the region under the campaign banner of the REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION.

As spokesman for that campaign I am repeatedly asked by ratepayers -

"What should I do? Should I pay? Should I pay only ten percent?

Other ratepayers have their own firm ideas of what they will do.

"I'm only paying the same as last year! I am not paying anything until they bring the rate down! I will pay ten percent a month by credit card!"

I realize that some people have already paid - but many of them have told me that they wish they had not.

And many are appalled at the ARC's decision to restrict instalment payments to Direct Debit only.

The big day is fast approaching - August 6th - the date when thousands of ratepayers in Rodney and North Shore City are due to pay their rates.

You must know that hundreds of people have attended the meetings which I addressed last week. You should also know that hundreds of people have telephoned me [and my wife]- many with tears in their voices as they told us of the hardship they face as a result of your rate demands.

Those people are asking me 'What should I do?"

So far my advice has been "Wait a few days - let's see how the ARC responds"

I can no longer give that advice.

>From today, when I am asked for guidance my response will be this.

"I personally, with my wife's support and approval, will not be paying the ARC a cent until it changes its stance

If you do not pay anything at all you will be penalized by the addition of ten per cent to your total rates.

If you have still not paid the ARC can commence proceedings for recovery no sooner than 4 months from your date of due payment.

You can pay only ten percent - and you will then be liable for a ten percent penalty on the remaining ninety per cent of your bill.

You could send in ten cheques - each made out for ten percent of your rates and post dated at monthly intervals commencing from your due date for payment.

Advice given to me is that, although banks do not check the date on cheques for small amounts, should any post-dated cheques be presented to the bank by the ARC, and be honoured, before the date on those cheques - the banks would be required to return those cheques tio the ARC and to restore the money to your account..

Finally, to those many unfortunate people who simply do not have two, three or four hundred dollars to pay their bill I can only advise them to take their bills to WINZ now, before the due date for payment - and seek help.

The ARC cannot take money out of your bank account without a Court order.

The ARC cannot sell you house from underneath you without going through a lengthy legal process which could take possibly years to complete"

That, Gwen must be the I give advice to those who seek it.

Of course it is within your power to call that Extraordinary meeting of your council and ask it to defer the due date for payment to September 15th - as requested by North Shore City Council.

While I feel a huge load of responsibility for this REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION - I will not betray the huge support this is achieving. My duty is clear - I must respond to the calls for advice.

Your duty is even clearer.

You must call your council together immediately to respond to the tidal wave of opposition to the extortionist ARC rate demand.

And please do not tell me you cannot reset the rate now. Your power to do so is in legislation which is only one year old. If you were not meant to use it why is it in the legislation at all?

Act NOW Gwen - admit that there has been a huge error of judgement and take the first step to put it right.

That is what real leadership would do

Regards

David Thornton

On behalf of The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION.

PS we are ready and willing to meet with anyone to explain our demands and to correct the many misleading statements being made by some of your members.


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