Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

New management for indebted Kaipara District Council

Local Government Minister David Carter. Photo / Natalie Slade
Local Government Minister David Carter. Photo / Natalie Slade

Government appointed commissioners are to take over management of the heavily indebted Kaipara District Council, Local Government Minister David Carter says.

Mr Carter said the council requested the appointment of independent commissioners today after being briefed by a Government appointed review team on the report it would submit to him this week.

Mr Carter ordered the review in May saying the financial situation at the Northland resort town was urgent and action was needed.

Kaipara's debts total $80.7 million including about $60 million for the Mangawhai sewerage scheme, leading the council to propose a 31 per cent average rate increase, which had ratepayers up in arms.

"Kaipara District Council is facing a range of problems including the size of its debt, invalidity of previous rates, management of its infrastructure and loss of confidence amongst parts of the community", Mr Carter said today.

"The Council's request to appoint commissioners under the Local Government Act is made in the best interests of the district, and I applaud that."

Mr Carter said he would seek Cabinet's agreement to appoint commissioners.

In the meantime, the Mayor and Councillors would continue in office and the Government expected they would continue to carry out their duties, including adopting Kaipara's long term plan.

- APNZ

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