Mayor should waive penalties
23 May 2020
From Chris Leitch, Social Credit Leader
Kaipara’s Mayor should make good on the election promise he made of a fresh start for the district and pay back the penalties the Council imposed on Mangawhai ratepayers Bruce Rogan and his wife Heather.
For Jason Smith to fall back on the fact that the Supreme Court had ordered the Rogans to pay $115,000, which included penalties for unpaid rates, is not a fresh start, it’s carrying on in the same vein the old council had started.
For him to then say “This is a very sad story. All elected members of Kaipara District Council will be pleased that this chapter is concluded”, simply reinforces the view that there’s no fresh start at all.
The Council may have had a victory, but it is a hollow one.
The Council got it wrong, the consultants got it wrong, and all the parties in parliament got it wrong when they voted for the legislation that validated all the wrongs that had gone on before.
It would be a fresh start if Mr Smith was to say “Despite what the Supreme Court has ruled, we’ve decided to pay back the penalties in a gesture of goodwill.”
I challenge him to do so.
Then, all the elected members of Kaipara District Council, including Mayor Smith, could be pleased that this chapter is concluded, and they could all sleep with a clear conscience.
Totting up all the money that other ratepayers across the district have paid that has been used in the fight against the Rogans would come to ten times more than what the Rogans have paid.
That money could have been used to do things much needed for the district.
Councillors consciences might still have a little niggle over that when they are working out what cuts they’ll make in the next budget.