Self in arrears on rates
He champions small rates rises and South Taranaki district councillor Michael Self has admitted he is in arrears with his own rates payments.
The first-time councillor, who was elected unopposed in Egmont Plains Ward, has confirmed to the Taranaki Daily News he has some considerable back rates due on his Manaia property.
Although he would not disclose the full amount, Mr Self said he had made an agreement with the South Taranaki District Council to pay the money which was overdue from "some hard times".
"It mounted up fairly high - it was an accumulation of quite some years ago when I lost my business and marriage.
"What looks on paper should take two to three years [to pay] has taken quite a lot longer."
In 2006, the former school teacher quit his role fronting Garden Rambles on regional television station Seven Taranaki after five years as a presenter.
That same year he had separated from his wife, the mother of his three children.
"There's no issue hiding on that as far as it goes - I just had a hard time and a couple of things compounded," Mr Self said.
"The type of industry that I'm in, especially when you're freelancing, you have periods of high income and sometimes periods of no income."
Since that time, he has gained his well-known television role fronting Lotto commercials and become a district councillor, which currently affords him a salary of just over $15,000.
"The big majority of my council fees that I receive is going back into paying those rates off - that comes in the arrangement."
He was not aware of the council having an issue with his situation.
Sources earlier told the Taranaki Daily News a councillor was behind with rates, but a request for information was declined by the council, which cited the Privacy Act. Mr Self confirmed he had outstanding payments after being asked for comment.
Taranaki Daily News