March 02, 2020
Hui upset at rating hard line
Far North District Council’s hard-line approach to overdue rates is creating frustration and anger in the rohe.
The council has already forced the sale of a bare block at Kerikeri, and it is preparing court action on another 21 properties, some with houses on them.
Reuben Taipari, who organised a hui at Waitangi at the weekend about the issue, says a large percentage of the outstanding rates arrears are from Māori land â€“ and the council needs to find other ways to tackle the problem.
"This is a challenge to our sovereignty – if Ngapuhi never ceded sovereignty, then we shouldn't be paying rates. We should have a discussion and the council need to come to the table, be humble about how they address this issue, and if they can come with the right attitude, we can work this out," he says.
The Government has announced it intends to introduce legislation later this year allowing councils to write off back rates and penalties on Maori land and exempting some types of Maori land from rates.
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