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KCRA Special Meeting 17th November, 2012

KCRA Special Meeting 17th November, 2012

Ratepayers voiced their anger and frustration at the KCRA Special Meeting, especially in relation to the unacceptable rates increases. Due to the complex new rating formulas, many face increases of 30% year one, and to 50% cumulatively at year two. Astoundingly, some were much higher again. These levels create hardship for many, and add to the financial difficulties many businesses and those on fixed outcomes face. Ratepayers support recovery for the Kaipara district and are willing to pay fair and reasonable rates, however, the Commissioners must first prove that they are totally legal compliant and limit maximum increases.

The recent comment made by Commissioners that the rates were legal due to the LTP (Long Term Plan) being legally struck has provoked spirited debate, as most know that this is simply not the case. KCRA, ratepayers and other organisations do not accept Commissioners continuing the previous Council’s approach of things being legal until proven otherwise. They are therefore seen to be relying on the inability of the oppressed to fund expensive Court challenges. This approach is simply unacceptable.

Rather than going along with continued illegalities, many ratepayers are making a stand and refusing to pay their rates. There are even financially secure people happy to strike and incur penalties, as a way making a stand for those who are financially being overburdened, and showing their disapproval of just how immoral and unjust it is when Authorities blatantly disrespect the law. It is accordingly time the Commissioners obtained Court rulings to prove to ratepayers that the LTP (the basis for rates), and the Proposed District Plan are fully, legally compliant.

There was a unanimous call at the meeting that past irregularities must no longer be put aside, but must be investigated. Financial recoveries will surely bring about massive reductions in Council’s debts, together with necessary and long overdue legislation changes to prevent such situations as Kaipara ratepayers and citizens are now experiencing – being asked to pay the price for others’ transgressions.
The members resolved and set out specific requirements of the Commissioners as follows:
1) Commissioners must give an irrevocable undertaking to initiate a full and independent retrospective investigation into all the affairs of Council, Councillors and all associated parties involved over the previous 3 council terms. Additionally they must pursue vigorously, and without favour, all recoveries where responsibilities can be allocated.

2) The adopted illegal Long Term Plan MUST be withdrawn immediately, and a fresh plan prepared with full community consultation. Rates increases to be capped at a community approved level.

3) Judicial reviews to be arranged by the Commissioners to determine the full legal compliance of the LTP and the PDP.

4) In the event that these demands are not agreed to by the Commissioners, KCRA is to proceed with active promotion of a full, district wide rates strike.

All resolutions were carried unanimously. Commissioners will be given one week to respond.


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