Penny Bright opens late legal bid to quash forced house sale

11:34 am on 14 May 2018

Long-time activist Penny Bright has opened what could be her last legal argument to quash the forced sale of her home over unpaid rates.

Penny Bright in the High Court in Auckland.

Penny Bright in the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Ms Bright has asked the High Court in Auckland to halt the court-ordered sale process, while a judicial hearing is carried out.

The High Court is managing the forced sale of Ms Bright's home to recover 11 years of unpaid rates, penalties and legal costs amounting to more than $34,000.

Ms Bright has said she bought her home for $145,000 in 1990. It now has a rating valuation of $1.04 million.

Her voice trembled as she spoke of the stress caused by Auckland Council's decision to recover nearly a decade of unpaid rates and legal costs.

Ms Bright has declined council offers to defer rates payments indefinitely until the point at which she might sell her home, whatever the reason.

She insists the council first publish full details of all contracts it lets, to improve transparency.

She told the court there was a link from the stress, to her diagnosis with incurable ovarian cancer.

Tenders from prospective buyers have been lodged with the court, but the process is on hold until the current action is resolved.

Penny Bright

Penny Bright Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

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