Penny Bright loses appeal

(Yes, she did have some voter appeal in the last local body elections, getting 4th with 11,723 votes)

I doubt that many will be surprised that Penny Bright has lost her appeal in her ongoing battle to avoid paying rates in Auckland.

NZ Herald: Activist Penny Bright loses latest battle with council over unpaid rates

Activist Penny Bright has lost her latest battle against Auckland Council over her unpaid rates.

Chief High Court judge Justice Geoffrey Venning dismissed an appeal by Bright on Monday in the High Court at Auckland.

Bright had appealed a decision, made by the Auckland District Court in February, which required her to pay her rates, which have been outstanding since 2007.

The summary judgment obtained was for outstanding rates and penalties of $34,182.56, as at 30 June 2015.

In the decision, Venning said: “Ms Bright, like other ratepayers, has an obligation to pay the rates that have been validly assessed as payable by her. Her refusal to do so simply increases the administration costs of the council.”

The court also awarded the council costs.

Cost may add up to a bit on top of her rates arrears and penalties.

It is also quite odd that someone who doesn’t pay their rates stands for election for the mayoralty.

Her campaign slogan is “stop corruption”at pennybright4mayor.org.nz

PennyBright4Mayor

If she misses out on the mayoralty she could always stand for the by-election on Phil Goff’s Mt Roskill electorate should he win – she could campaign there on not paying tax.

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  12th July 2016

    She never had any appeal for me.

    But seriously, the unfairness of expecting everyone else to pay for the things that rates cover while she uses them for nothing is a very bad look for someone standing for office.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  12th July 2016

      clearly you know nothing about her position which is…she is happy to pay,so long as it is divulged where precisely rates are spent.Too commercially sensitive ,to tell that to ratepayers cry the gravy trainers, hellbent on keeping their lucrative, cosy old boy network intact.

      Reply
    • It’s a sad day for “people power” Miss Kitty.

      As I understand it all Penny Bright really did was ask Council to account for how her rates were spent and they refused to do so. She’s since been a rates refuser and activist for transparency in Council and Council-Controlled Organisations.

      There’s a stack of articles about her on NBR here – http://www.nbr.co.nz/tags/penny-bright – if you can afford to read them … including, “[Deputy Mayor] Penny Hulse endorses activist’s campaign for increased accountability …”

      I like a mayoral candidate who stands by the courage of her convictions.

      I have no idea what her standpoint is on income tax? Much harder to refuse, of course, but if she was I imagine we’d have heard about it, so I guess PG’s last comment is just a kind of “friendly smear”?

      Reply
      • Not intended as a smear. Rates are local body tax, the only differences being they are paid on rateable values of properties rather than income, and are not deducted from your money before you get it.

        Reply
  2. Brown

     /  12th July 2016

    It was always my understanding that the argument was a legal one and if that’s correct you shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand on the basis she should pay because everyone else does. The law needs to be clear about intentions or you finish up with courts just making law on the hoof to pacify the politicians who employ them.

    Reply
    • If it was found legal for protesters to avoid paying rates until they got what they wanted it would ruin Auckland, and more than just financially.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  12th July 2016

        Might teach the council to act legally and sensibly though so not necessarily a bad thing.

        Reply
  3. Don’t say her name 5 times in a row…. you will summon HER to this blog!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • She has some sort of aversion to coming here. She must be afraid of me or something. A while ago she was posting responses to me at The Standard but I think I couldn’t respond then if I wanted to as I was still under a ban.

      Reply
      • That’s a relief. She has a point re chummy contracts being let, wasteful dubious spending, out of control bureaucracy in councils and corruption [some local body manager got done not long ago plus your own DCC where a have all the cars gone guy]

        But bejezzus she is painful when she comments….

        Reply
        • “That’s a relief. She has a point re chummy contracts being let, wasteful dubious spending, out of control bureaucracy in councils and corruption”

          For sure.

          But if everyone who was pissed off with their local council withheld rates until they got what we wanted it would be chaos.

          Reply
          • She is an attention seeker in my view and hence the grandstanding. She could have made her point just by campaigning on the corruption and opaqueness around council spending. But she loves the spotlight

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  12th July 2016

              She’s handy with an angle grinder. Any sheila handy with an angle-grinder gets some respect from me.

            • Gezza

               /  12th July 2016

              Drat. 😡 I missed One News. Did I miss anything worth seeing? Anyone know? o_O

        • Gezza

           /  12th July 2016

          Public Records Act is her answer, I believe. But I don’t see how. I asked once.

          Reply
  4. Nelly Smickers

     /  12th July 2016

    I’ve always admired Penny Bright and her stand against local government’s uncontrolled spending of other peoples money!!.

    It’s just considered fashionable by some to continually knock the lady, but she has *always* stood up for her principles and been a strong advocate against corruption by elected council officials. Just look at how she made Len Brown look like a complete dork 😮

    She has been a hard worker all her life, and even has an *Engineering Degree*!! (Wayne reckons you can actually check her out on YouTube with an arc welder, showing how you can fix your water meter or something)

    I think it would be *absolutely fab* if Penny were to regularly comment here. And if you’re reading this by any chance Penny, don’t worry about some of the more ‘nasty’ commenters …..Kitzy’s always hyperventilating about something ❗

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  12th July 2016

      But if everyone who was pissed off with their local council withheld rates until they got what we wanted it would be chaos.

      Maybe so, but the council might actually start listening… The majority of people who are pissed off with their local council have mortgages over their property, so are unable to protest in this manner.

      Reply
  5. Brown

     /  12th July 2016

    Yep, most people generally do what they are told no matter how pointless it may be so it follows that people with the courage to fight back should not be sneered at because they take a different point of view and ask the question we should all be asking all the time. I know nothing about this lady but anyone who fights city hall is worth respecting for the courage required to do so.

    Reply
    • IMO Penny’s problem is that councils don’t have any obligation to account for their actions to ratepayers. Ratepayers are the cash cows of local councils, not their clients.

      Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  12th July 2016

      Exactly Brown. Don’t know much about Ms Bright myself, but I’m pretty certain she isn’t doing what she is just for ‘shits & giggles’.

      Reply

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