The KCDC isn’t the only council whose management racks up huge wasteful legal bills at Ratepayers’ expense.
So, after a four-year legal battle, Rotorua Lakes Council has been found guilty of discharging contaminants from its dump site that then flowed into popular waterways.
The big winners are the lawyers for both sides. Court costs will be huge given Council contested the charges for four years. Given those, and an up-to-$600,000 fine must have been anticipated, should they have been included in the 10-year Plan? I doubt there is normally a category for “fines” and it wouldn’t look good in audited books, but yes they should have been included. It is a significant cost, but unfortunately likely to be hidden elsewhere.
We’re likely looking at over $1 million. This leaching problem has been recorded on-and-off for over eight years. Council had been told to correct it multiple times. Recommendations were ignored. In my opinion heads should roll, not just because the inaction has had a negative environmental impact, but because failure to act on recommendations suggests negligence by some.
Another question. Why has there, during all these ensuing years, been plenty of money to fritter away on vanity and legacy projects, but nothing to spend on what is a serious environmental and safety concern affecting the Rotorua community?
Paddi Hodgkiss, Rotorua