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Truth Gives Way to Unprincipled Expediency

PRESS RELEASE 24/8/12:- Response to adoption of the LTP on 23/8/12

Truth Gives Way to Unprincipled Expediency

Councillors on 23rd August voted to approve the Annual Plan and the Long Term Plan in spite of ample evidence that both failed to meet all relevant legal standards. Only Cr. Larsen opposed both motions. Few ratepayers will be happy with an LTP that forces on them significant rates increases and a new rating system, riddled with inaccuracies, unintended consequences, and inadequately disclosed rate increases in it for many. Council has virtually ignored the strength of the opposition to most of it. 3,000 people ‘submitted’, virtually all against some part of it, and this being 25% of ratepayers probably representing around 30% of properties; 2,500 people turned out at a Mangawhai rally, and our councillors still have no appreciation of what they don’t know.

The only good news is that this council, which in less than 2 terms has added $60 million to our debt is finally being replaced by commissioners. It is hard to believe this council approved an LTP that assumes a firm financial base, financial solvency, and meets all normal annual operating expenses from rates when they know that is not so, and the CEO will not sign off the reliability of the information or its adequate compliance with the legislation.

As it is possible up to $30 million of council debt may be recoverable from parties or councilors acting outside the law, failing duties of care, or contractual requirements, KCRA is committed to seeking responsibilities and recoveries for ratepayers, with ratepayers help.

Since it is now confirmed that council cannot meet its statutory requirements of funding each year’s operating expenses out of that year’s rates, and there is uncertainty about whether council could be forced to repay the illegal rates and water charges, ratepayers can now only hope that the Audit Office acts more responsibly than our councilors and refuses to endorse and ratify the LTP! Ratepayers now look set to fund a 4th LTP by the commissioners!

Most ratepayers having lost respect, confidence and trust in council may well intensify the rates withholding until the commissioners act decisively to improve the situation, and address council costs. KCRA is ready willing and able to help ratepayers with representations to the commissioners and government. KCRA will very soon be approaching ratepayers with a petition, seeking support and indicating to the commissioners the ratepayers’ priorities.

The determination for full and fully independent retrospective enquiries to establish whether ratepayers need to owe as much as alleged, or whether recoveries of substantial sums are likely from parties who acted negligently, illegally, or failed to properly advise or complete contracts, intensifies.

The Association is actively canvassing further membership support to help bring about changes that are sorely needed. Check the web site for details www.kcra.org.nz


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