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Council to wait for appeal decision

Environment Waikato has decided to wait for the result of an Appeal Court decision on the Piako River rating system before deciding if it will seek costs from the group which challenged it in court.

The Council this week heard a delegation from the Piako Upper Catchment Group and appellant Rodney Luxton asking that it waive costs granted by the High Court, or at least delay a decision until after an Appeal Court decision was made.

The Corporate Services Committee meeting in late November had decided to seek costs for the expenses incurred in defending the action. While the Council had not originally sought costs, the judge in the case had granted costs.

Chairman Neil Clarke said if the Council did not seek costs, the account would need to be paid either from the general rate or as a charge against the Piako River Scheme. Each such case was decided on its individual circumstances.

Cr Barry O’Connor said it was prudent to wait until that decision was made. The case will be heard by the Court of Appeal in March.

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