Silence & Secrecy In ARC Rates Battle

Published: Thu 2 Oct 2003 03:41 PM
The campaign against the Auckland Regional Council's rating policy.
Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON
[Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers]
MEDIA RELEASE Thursday, 2 October 2003
Statement by David Thornton
The ARC is continuing to withhold figures showing the number of ratepayers who have not paid their rates in accordance with the ARC Rate Demands.
At its last council meeting eleven days ago the council indicated that overall 19% of ratepayers had not paid - but despite several requests the actual numbers on which those percentages are based have not been released.
Another request, to the Minister of Local; Government, has been met with silence. The Minister promised that he would allow us to see all the documents produced to him by the ARC in response to 12 questions we sent to him in support of our application for a Ministerial Review of the ARC. His promise was made nine days ago and, despite three emails reminding him, we have heard nothing.
It's time both the ARC and the Minister did more than pay lip service to open government.
The more silent and secretive they become - the more determined will ratepayers become to ensure that all the facts concerning the ARC rating fiasco will be made public.
We are awaiting a decision from the Ombudsman on our request for copies of the legal advice given to the ARC in relation to penalties and payment by instalment. So far the ARC has refused to let us see that advice.
Advance notice
The regionwide petition and the Rodney Protest petition will be handed over to ARC chair Gwen Bull at 12,45 on 14th October.

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