Disingenuous protest

Penny Bright has been in the news again lately, as the Auckland City Council forced sale of her house for unpaid rates seems more imminent (nearing the end result of a protest that has lasted many years).

Stuff: Auckland protester’s home to be sold following 11 years of unpaid rates

An Auckland activist’s home will be sold to recover more than $34,000 unpaid rates and penalties dating back more than 10 years, but she’s not moving.

A High Court judgement ruled Penny Bright’s Kingsland home would be sold by tender on April 24.

Bright had been in a bitter stand-off with Auckland Council for 11 years over unpaid rates after she stopped paying them in 2007.

She said she wouldn’t pay up until the council was more transparent about its spending.

“I’m making a stand and because I am a whistle blower I’m being singled out and targeted. I am not leaving this is my home. I always intended to pay back the rates, which I think has been lost in all of this. This could be simply resolved. The mayor and councillors need to instruct Auckland Council’s chief executive Stephen Town to open up the books.”

She isn’t in a great position to be making demands. It could have been simply resolved by paying rates due.

She must be one of the most frequent protesters in Auckland, and one could ask whether she picks her battles wisely or not.

She features again here in Bikelash, paralysis – and progress:

This is the new bike lane up the hill to West Lynn shops. Its completion was briefly delayed when Occupy Garnet Road leaders Lisa Prager and Penny Bright occupied a digger, with a ‘Save the Trees’ sign. This was odd, given that no trees were being removed. At all. Indeed, the new lane diverts around a couple of trees before heading up the hill along the top of the steep grass berms.

(I’m told the Occupiers’ new objection to the path is that it is bad for the environment because it’s made of asphalt.)

She is not the only one geing disingenuous about protesting.

It’s easy to dismiss this sort of protest as nutty – as long as their bills are paid.


  1. lurcher1948

     /  March 20, 2018

    Shes won and the rich pricks have lost, dont join the rich pricks PG, they have spent mega bucks chasing her and they will still loose,rates paid, and how much has the council to get to this point, THANK GOD ITS NOT WELLINGTON…you go PENNY

    • Has the council opened their books? If not she hasn’t won anything except perhaps a reprieve for her house.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  March 20, 2018

    Well, it would be annoying to lose the parking, but as it wasn’t ‘his’, he can’t expect to keep it.

    Penny Bright is not well named.

  3. Blazer

     /  March 20, 2018

    how dare Penny Bright want accountability as to how ratepayers money is spent!Doesn’t she realise that accountability,integrity and transparency would ruin a long running crony,gravy train of consultants,and contractors that all belong to the right…Golf Club?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 20, 2018

      How dare she make use of amenities that other mugs have paid for ? She’s a bludger who uses roads, parks and everything else that the rates pay for, but is too mean to pay for them.Let other people pay for these things.

      The scenario you paint is so improbable that it’s pure fantasy. The chances of every person who has anything to do with the council being corrupt and nobody ever finding out are non-existent. It’s an insult to the council and the ratepayers who vote for them.

    • I guess everyone could withhold rates and tax until they get their council or Government to do what they want. I’m sure that would work out ok. I suppose that’s why it’s such a popular means of activism.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 20, 2018

        (gives Pete a long, sideways look)

      • alloytoo

         /  March 20, 2018

        I guess a principled boycotter could place the withheld funds in a lawyers trust account, I guess.

        • Blazer

           /  March 20, 2018

          she has basically done that…as a precaution to the ..outcome ..that you ‘can’t fight city hall’=entrenched ,useless ,idle ,over paid shyteheads.

  4. duperez

     /  March 20, 2018

    I’ve read a bit today and heard Penny Bright on the radio today too. What I didn’t hear was someone from the Auckland Council just stating simply and clearly that the fuss Bright is making is irrelevant. Irrelevant because her claims about them not following the law are wrong and ratepayers have access to the stuff she’s on about.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 23, 2018

      They do in all councils. Anyone can go to a council meeting, Of course, doing this would not feed an attention-seeker’s addiction or a mean one’s wish to have council amenities at everyone else’s expense.