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Like most I would like 'normality ' to return regarding the administration and collection of rates, but we would only be fooling ourselves if we thought that things had been corrected.

The cause of the problem has not been resolved and therefore there is nothing to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem, not just in the Kaipara District Council's bailiwick by any council in New Zealand which illegally runs up debts that ratepayers cannot afford.

The Act making the rates retrospectively 'legal' goes nowhere to solving the legal issues that prevail on the way that the rates were set and collected. At best it’s a one-off band-aid job that may not stand the test of time and actually aggravate the problem in the long term.

A matter of keen interest among rate payers is the issue of whether the banks involved in making the loan actually conducted due diligence in the process and did not knowingly ignore the very public concerns of ratepayers about the inability of ratepayers to pay off so much money.

Our local MP Mike Sabin is apparently keen to see that ratepayers get some reimbursement resulting for the Office of the Auditor General failures cover and mistakes and omissions in properly auditing the KDC's books.

That is fine if it happens but I for one would have been much happier if the Commissioners had spent much more time in checking out the bank's role in this fiasco and not apparently assuming that they did their job much.

This is not a quick easy fix issue that can be cured simply by everyone resuming the payment of their rates and no one should be blinded into believing it is. If it is that simple I suggest the Commissioners could step aside immediately and call for new local body elections.

Roy Vaughan
Mangawhai

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