Auckland Council has successfully obtained summary judgment against Penny Bright for unpaid rates, dating back almost nine years.
The Auckland District Court on 16 February released its decision in favour of the council. The decision is for $34,182.56 which was the amount of rates and penalties outstanding as at 30 June 2015.
The council has a duty to all Aucklanders to collect rates, which ensures fairness to all ratepayers.
"As we have always stated, taking court action is the last resort for council to recover unpaid rates," says Auckland Council Group Chief Financial Officer Sue Tindal.
"We have given Ms Bright ample opportunity to resolve this matter in a way that would not cause her financial hardship, including through rates postponement."
The judgment means Ms Bright must pay her rates, or put a rates payment plan in place. If she continues to refuse, as she has done for the last nine years, the council can apply to the High Court for a ratings sale.
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 arrangements.