NRC reveals legal costs

A legal battle over property rates collected in Kaipara has cost the Northland Regional Council more than $450,000 in legal fees.

A legal battle over property rates collected in Kaipara has cost the Northland Regional Council more than $450,000 in legal fees.

Chair of the NRC audit and finance working party, David Sinclair, said he was pleased with the latest ruling in council’s favour, but “disappointed so much ratepayer money had to be spent on the legal fight.”

The Court of Appeal last month dismissed the latest appeal over allegedly invalid rates collected in Kaipara district. Richard Bruce Rogan and Heather Elizabeth Rogan were ordered to pay costs to both the NRC and the Kaipara District Council.

Cr Sinclair said the legal cost was “money which could have been better used to provide services that our communities have said they want us to provide. 
“The heart of this wider case was our council’s use of the Kaipara District Council to collect rates on our behalf.”

If the regional council were forced to set up its own, stand-alone rate collection agency, the outlay would be many times the legal costs it had incurred in the court action.
“Our position in that regard has never changed; collection of rates on our behalf by district councils provides significant cost savings, which benefit our shared ratepayer base.”


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