President Appalled At Court Costs
"Waikato Federated Farmers is appalled at Environment Waikato's intention to recover costs from the farmers who took the Piako River rating case to the High Court" said John Vincent, President of Waikato Federated Farmers.
"It smacks of bully boy tactics, especially in light of the public service nature of the case and the fact that Environment Waikato's Chairman, Neil Clarke has spoken of the need for a determination by the Court" said Mr Vincent.
The case was to determine the relationship of the Local Government Amendment Act (No.3) 1996 and the Ratings Powers Act 1988 and to clarify the powers and obligations of local authorities. However, both parties were surprised when the Judge awarded costs against the farmers.
Waikato Federated Farmers is angry that Environment Waikato will pursue costs. "While they have discretion on this matter, the Council should recognise the importance and value of the determination. They should not seek recovery because of the public nature and benefit of the case." Mr Vincent concluded.