Mangawhai protesters Bruce and Heather Rogan have again been knocked back by by the Court of Appeal in their bid to avoid paying costs and penalties on withheld rates payments.

The couple sought a recall of a Court of Appeal judgment last month which ruled they were not entitled to withhold rates payments to the Kaipara District Council.

The Rogans' long-running court battle began in 2011 when they refused to pay rates after apparent financial mismanagement by the council led to a significant rates increase.

The High Court in 2016 ruled the rates were unlawfully set, but the Court of Appeal concluded that did not mean the Rogans were entitled to withhold rates payments.

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The couple were part of a group of around 100 ratepayers who withheld payment over huge rates increases amid soaring council debt.

The application for recall was made on the basis that the judgment "addressed issues beyond those for which leave had been given by the High Court and in respect of which no submissions were made".

They also the court did not address arguments over costs. The Rogans' lawyer argued there was a "public interest" element to the appeal which had not been addressed in the initial judgment.

"The Court received full argument on this issue from both parties and addressed these in the judgment," the judges said dismissing the application.

"Mr Browne's submissions on costs were not overlooked. The Court was unpersuaded that there was any basis to depart from the normal costs award."

The Rogans have already repaid three years' worth of rates but the council has pursued unpaid penalty payments.

The Court of Appeal said in their ruling last month the fact that errors in rates notices effectively made the rates unlawful did not make it legal to refuse payment.

"The Rogans were not entitled to refuse payment of the rates because of the asserted errors and omissions in the rates assessments and rates invoices," the judgment read.

The former Kaipara District Council was replaced by commissioners in 2012, before new elections were held.