The Government has ruled out appointing a statutory manager or commissioner to run the Far North District Council - at this stage - but officials are keeping an eye on the council.

Last month FNDC watchdog Des Mahoney wrote to Local Government Minister Anne Tolley asking her to implement her powers under the Local Government Act to take control of the council.

Mr Mahoney, who also launched a petition seeking thousands of signatures to support the letter, said the council was so dysfunctional and fragmented it couldn't carry out its statutory functions, and the council was endangering, or likely to endanger, the health and safety of residents.

In her response Ms Tolley said under the Local Government Act a high threshold was needed for ministerial intervention, but it was not clear that there was sufficient evidence to warrant her to do so, at this time.


''My officials in the Department of Internal Affairs are aware of ratepayer concerns, and are monitoring the situation. They will advise me should a case for intervention become apparent.''

Ms Tolley said Mr Mahoney might also wish to consider approaching the Office of the Auditor General to see if there were grounds for an investigation into his claims.

Mr Mahoney was pleased the minister was monitoring the council and a complaint to the Auditor General might be made. He said the petition, which asked that Ms Tolley appoint a commissioner, had gained about 3000 signatures in less than a month.

Far North Mayor John Carter said the council was aware of the issues Mr Mahoney raises.

"These are not new, nor are they unique to the Far North District Council. We are addressing these through a works programme outlined in our Long-term Plan 2015-25."

He said the council was also in touch with the Local Government Minister's office and in constant contact with Audit New Zealand, which audits its Long-term Plan and Annual Report and carries out work for the Auditor-General.

"We welcome scrutiny of our business practices and infrastructure and asset management.

"That is why we agreed to be a foundation member of Local Government New Zealand's Excellence Programme and why we have commissioned an independent review of our procurement practices," Mr Carter said.