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Ministerial Review Of Arc - And Consequences

Ministerial Review Of Arc - And Consequences

I wrote (emailed) to Minister of Local Government Chris Carter over three weeks ago asking him to instigate a Ministerial Review, and assume I am the 'member of the public' to whom he refers.

[You will note from the copy letter below that the request in fact came from the Glenfield Ratepayers & Residents Association]

In the intervening period the situation has deteriorated rapidly - to the extent that it appears that at least 20,000 ratepayers, in North Shore and part of Rodney, had not paid there rates, or had paid only 10% by means ruled invalid by the ARC.

If that trend continues throughout the region, as other 'due dates' come and go, up 100,000 ratepayers will not have paid their rates - leaving the ARC up to $35 million or more short of its rate requirement for the year.

Under those circumstances the Minister must surely have adequate grounds to instigate a Ministerial review - which could in turn lead to the appointment of a Commissioner - or in some circumstances call for fresh elections to the ARC

Copy of letter sent to Minister.

GLENFIELD RATEPAYERS & RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (INC) Chairman; David Thornton 77 Hillcrest Avenue, Northcote, NORTH SHORE CITY [09] 443 5302 email; david@kandu.co.nz

15 July 2003

Hon Chris Carter Minister of Local Government Wellington

Dear Minister,

I am sure you are aware of the furore currently arising from the rate demands by the Auckland Regional Council.

My phone has been running hot since the rate demands started going out - initially from North Shore ratepayers, but increasingly from other parts of the region.

It is my opinion that the ARC has failed to meet the requirements of the Local Government [Rating} Act 2002 and the consultation requirements of the Local Government Act 2002.

There are many case being reported of impending hardship to individuals who will be either unable to pay the ARC rates bill, or will pay the bill and be forced to go short of other necessities. This situation is intolerable.

It is made even worse by the admission by the ARC that it accepts that its proposals are unfair and it [the ARC] will carry out a 'comprehensive review of its methodology" in the 2003/4 year" and "the new policy developed as a result of the review will be used in setting rate for 2004/5".

This is an appalling admission as it shows that the council has admitted that it has not set rates fairly as is required under the legislation.

There are threats galore of 'rates strikes' and should they eventuate it will cause chaos.

As Minister of Local Government you have the power, under Section 254 of the Local Government Act 2002, to appoint a review authority on the grounds that;-

There has been a significant failure by the local authority to meet its obligations under the Act and under the Local Government[Rating} Act 2002


There is a significant and identifiable deficiency in the decision-making processes of the local authority.

We now ask that you exercise your powers and, as a matter of urgency, appoint a review authority.

Such action on your part will go along way to restoring people's confidence in local government.

I look forward to a positive response.

Yours faithfully

David Thornton Chairman

© Scoop Media

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