Auckland activist Penny Bright resolves her rates bill after a decade of refusing to pay up

Auckland activist Penny Bright has resolved her outstanding rates bill and the council is stopping its forced sale of her home in the suburb of Kingsland.

It's not clear how the outstanding rates bill, totalling some $69,000, has been resolved.

Auckland Council told 1 NEWS it's a private matter and that it can't provide any further details.

A supporter of Penny Bright told 1 NEWS that the council accepted an application for a rates postponement.

A rates postponement means people who meet certain criteria and have enough equity in their property can postpone all or part of their rates payment.

Until now, Ms Bright has been refusing to pay her rates for more than a decade, arguing that the council must be more accountable.

She headed to the High Court to try to stop the forced sale of her home, but the court told her this week that nobody is above the law.

Ms Bright recently revealed she has terminal ovarian cancer and blamed it on the stress from her rates battle.

Auckland Council said in a statement this afternoon it was pleased to confirm that Bright has resolved her outstanding rates bill.

The council gave no details on how this has been done.

"We can now all move on and allow Ms Bright to focus on more important matters," council chief financial officer Matthew Walker said in the statement.

Ms Bright has told 1 NEWS that it all feels like a bit of an "anticlimax", however says she will be able to focus her time on her battle with cancer.

When asked how long the outstanding rates bill will be postponed for, she said she would continue to apply for the postponement each year. 

Bright's home is being sold as she has refused to pay rates for over a decade. Source: 1 NEWS

Penny Bright on the deck of her Auckland home. Source: 1 NEWS

The council were going to sell her home to get back unpaid rates. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: 'All I can say is it’s not our fault Bill English left' – PM Jacinda Ardern hits back at National after Budget criticism

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has fired back at the National Party after negative comments were made after Budget 2018 was announced today.

"I have heard this budget accused of many things. In fact, I've heard it called many, many things," Ms Ardern said in parliament.

"Before we came in to this debating chamber today, it was called 'the brain drain' budget. Now, I can only imagine, Mr Speaker, that was somehow a reference to some of the activity in this debating chamber in recent times, and all I can say is it's not our fault Bill English left."

It follows comments from the Opposition calling the Budget a “brain drain”. Source: Parliament TV


'An incredibly disappointing Budget given the embarrassment of riches' says National's Amy Adams

National's finance spokesperson Amy Adams says it's an incredibly disappointing Budget given what she calls the embarrassment of riches the new Labour-led Government had.

Ms Adams says Finance Minister Grant Robertson was awash with cash with the surplus and the strong economy left him as the new Government came into office last year.

"The Labour Government decided to create very, very high expectations and promises We warned them during the election campaign their numbers didn't add up," she said, speaking on a Budget 2018 Special on TVNZ1.

"And what we've seen today is that they've had to push out their allowances over the Budget period by an extra $5 billion and they've pushed out their debt by an extra $7 billion.

"So $11 billion of money they hadn't planned to spend that they're now saying they're going to have to spend to make their numbers work. 

"And even with that is what's noticeable is what's not there. 

"There's no funding for Dunedin Hospital. They're taking $200 million of savings out of the Pharmac budget. 

"We're not seeing those 1800 extra police over three years. They're not delivering the extra 2000 state house  a year that they promised. 

"There's no Waikeria prison. And there certainly isn't the universal free GP visits," Ms Adams said.

She said Labour made a big deal of health in the lead-up to the Budget but are putting less new money into health each year than National put in last year.

"So for all of their big talk, actually they're not delivering."

Ms Adams said it's the same in education. Minister Chris Hipkins had said $1.1 billion of capital was needed but they've put in $395 million over four years, she said.

National's finance spokesperson says they warned Labour during the election campaign their numbers didn't add up. Source: 1 NEWS