The Far North District Council had apparently planned to write off, as uncollectable, more than $36,000 in rates levied on a Kaitaia property over nine years, allegedly because demands had not been issued to the lessee.
Trenchant council critic Des Mahoney said a lease was drawn up between the owners of the land and the lessee, and lodged with the council. The arrangement was that the lessee would pay the rates but had not done so because no demand was received.
That was until earlier this year, when the council demanded $40,749.
The council's response to an initial inquiry from the Northland Age was that the council had yet to make decisions about some of the issues Mr Mahoney had raised, so the inquiry was premature. Several of the allegations were also incorrect, and some of the matters were still with legal counsel.
Four days before that, a senior staff member had written to Mr Mahoney, however, saying he had discussed the outstanding rates with other senior staff.
It had been agreed that an offer should be made to the lessee whereby the latter would pay the rates in respect of the last and current financial years, totalling $3901, and continue to pay rates in the future.
The balance of $36,848 would be written off as uncollectable.
Mr Mahoney was thanked for his assistance, and the land's owners and family members for their patience.