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Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Kaipara rebels say proposed rates hike still too high

Rates rebels withholding up to $300,000 a month from a local council over a proposed 31 per cent hike insist they still won't stump up for a lower proposed rise.

At a special meeting this week, Kaipara District Council was in favour an average rates rise of 19.8 per cent for the 2012/13 year and a 9.9 per cent rise the following year.

But Bruce Rogan, chairman of the Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers' Association, told the Herald on Sunday his members remained unhappy about the latest plans and up to 1000 locals would continue to refuse to pay.

"The council ran its original plan up the flagpole and no one saluted it," he said. "Now they have hoisted another that goes about three-quarters of the way there to see if anyone will salute that. I doubt it. Who on earth would pay a rates rise of almost 20 per cent?"

Kaipara Mayor Neil Tiller wants to almost halve the district's debt of $82.5 million by 2022. Much of the debt stems from cost blowouts from a wastewater scheme, which has ballooned from $23m to $60m.

Council spokeswoman Barbara Ware said the 19.8 per cent rise included targeted rates and this was a median - meaning some people would pay more, while others would pay less.

- Herald on Sunday

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