Auckland Council is continuing action to recover outstanding rates and penalties owed by Penny Bright on her Kingsland property, which, as at 30 June 2015, totalled $34,182.51. Ms Bright has not paid rates since 2007.
In a very small number of cases, the council will seek to recover rates through a court ordered sale of the property. This is only after all other options have been exhausted and the ratepayer is still refusing to enter into any payment options.
Auckland Council General Manager Finance, Kevin Ramsay says: “Throughout this process, we have given Ms Bright the opportunity to resolve this matter in a way that would not cause her financial hardship, including the option of a rates postponement, and this opportunity remains open to her.”
Background to Ms Bright’s outstanding rates
- In 2012, the Auckland Council obtained a judgment from the District Court for the amount then owing and used that to apply to the High Court for a rating sale of her property
- After the compulsory stand down period of six months Ms Bright applied to the District Court to have the judgment that formed the basis of the High Court rating sale set aside.
- Ms Bright was successful on a technical ground as an award of costs against her in previous proceedings was inadvertently included in the calculation of the 2012 judgement sum. However, the underlying claim for unpaid rates remains active.
- On 7 October the District Court adjourned Auckland Council's application for summary judgment against Penny Bright to 21 December. The adjournment was on the basis that Ms Bright advised the court that she did not recall receiving a supporting affidavit from Council.
- Auckland Council stated in court that this was inconceivable, and subsequently located an email from Ms Bright sent in May to a wide range of recipients confirming that she had in fact received the affidavit.
- Council has drawn Ms Bright’s attention to the email and suggested that in the circumstances it would be appropriate for her to write to the Court advising that she was mistaken in her recollection.