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Mrs Bull Says "No" To Our Request For A Meeting

From - RatesRebellion - to a FRESH START

Formerly known as the Regional Ratepayers Rebellion campaign.

14 June 2004



We asked Auckland Regional Council chairwoman, Mrs Gwen Bull, for a meeting at which we wished to put forward our proposals for dealing with outstanding issues such as removing penalties and legal sanctions against ratepayers who are withholding all or part of their rates in genuine protest at last years savage rates increases.

Mrs Bull has refused to meet with us - saying that last years rates were legally set and the lawful process of collection will now proceed.

What this means is that a further 10% penalty will be added to any rates outstanding at the 1st July.

The ARC is also planning to advise mortgagees of the outstanding rates - and, as a final recourse, will take action in court to recover rates unpaid.

Regrettably it seems at this stage that the law is against us.

Our campaign has been successful in bringing about a change to rates this year which will benefit most residential ratepayers - but has not gone far enough, in our view, to correct the huge increases of last year. In addition the ARC has introduced a new Transport Rate system which is totally unfair in the way it has been developed - and will see rate increases in parts of the central area of the region.

Our campaign was also largely responsible for forcing the government's hand in giving more funding for Auckland's transport problems - without such funding this year's rate increase would have been over 18%.

The time has now come for us all to make our individual decisions regarding unpaid rates.

We have outlined above the consequences of withholding payment beyond the end of June.

We cannot advise you what to do - that has always been a matter for you and your personal circumstances. We can only bring you the best information we have.

Make no mistake - your individual protest has contributed to the success of this campaign.

Without you there would have been no campaign.

What we can advise you to do is to now turn your minds to the October local body elections when you will have the opportunity to make big changes - starting with changes to the ARC membership.

The "RatesRebellion" campaign will be putting up candidates for the ARC with the aim of taking control of that council and bringing about substantial changes to the way this region is governed and the way its ratepayers are treated.

We will be announcing our first candidates, and releasing an initial policy statement within the next ten days - the first step in our move from a Rates Rebellion to giving this region a Fresh Start.

Our job as co-ordinators of the campaign was to make sure your voice was heard. We believe we have achieved that. Now it is time to move forward.

Thanks you for all your support of our efforts - and we hope you will support our upcoming election campaign

Best wishes

David Thornton

on behalf of John Drury, Ken Elcoat, Ron Mottram and Grant Taylor

© Scoop Media

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