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Press Release on behalf of Penny Bright

Press Release on behalf of Penny Bright

For immediate release.

Today, Monday 14 May 2018, Penny Bright had the hearing for an Interim Injunction Application, regarding Auckland Council’s attempt to sell her house for non payment of rates.

Penny has courageously put her house on the line on behalf of all Aucklanders, demanding from the council more accountability and transparency about where rates money goes. This is most specifically in regard to contractor selection and costs.

A diverse group of supporters packed the courtroom to overflowing to hear the sometimes emotional and justifiably upset Penny state her case.

What the council seem unable to understand is that Penny has refused to pay her rates until more transparency is offered. The entire point of Penny’s refusal is to have some leverage so they will engage with her.

However while they offer her rates postponement, that completely misses the point that Penny has made an ethical stand on behalf of all ratepayers, and should have the right to demand transparency from the Councillors that we have elected.

Lawyer for Auckland Council, Kelly Quinn, said that should a charging order be put in place, Penny would still have to pay rates penalties amounting to up to $12,000 over the next 6 years. It was made to look as if Council was trying to save Penny money by selling her home. However should the sale go ahead, Penny could lose up to or over $300,000 if the tender applicants are looking for a quick bargain. This punitive action against Penny is unwarranted and unjustified.

It is also to be noted that Penny has stage 3 ovarian cancer which is inoperable and incurable. If Council has an ounce of compassion, they would put a charging order over Penny’s house and retrieve their demands when Penny sells her house, rather than force a sale. She is not remotely well enough to move house as of now.

The issue Penny stands for affects all ratepayers, and we should stand together and demand greater transparency from our elected representatives.

The Judge’s decision is due at 9 am on Wednesday May 16th.


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