Waimate council seeks government help
The Waimate District Council is seeking government intervention as a way to do battle with businessman Keith Williams.
But they don't have long to resolve the matter, as the Mayor and four councillors bow out at the upcoming election.
Councillors voted this morning to seek advice from the Department of Internal Affairs with a view to looking at options for government assistance.
Mr Williams is seeking another $120,000 through the High Court after he was awarded $80,000 in costs in a decision released in June.
The council's unsuccessful legal action against Mr Williams' company, Glenkeith Industries, has so far cost an estimated $140,000 in legal fees, on top of the costs award, for a total of $220,000.
The Herald revealed on Saturday that councillors Peter McIlraith and Craig Rowley had sworn affidavits in the defence evidence for Mr Williams and both were called out in chambers this morning.
The dispute first went to court in August last year when Mr Williams and his company were each charged with failing to apply for a certificate of acceptance and failing to comply with a notice to fix when he carried out "urgent" work on his business, Dash's Garage.
The garage was required to turn a door around to satisfy fire safety concerns and to replace cladding.
Mr Williams carried out the work following a wall becoming unstable in December 2010, after high winds. Building inspector Angie Leckey would not accept the work had been carried out under urgency, issuing a stop-work notice and saying Mr Williams needed a consent and a notice to fix.
In her costs decision, Judge Maze was critical of the council's reliance on Ms Leckey's view and her lack of objectivity. The judge said the council had acted with a "high degree of negligence".
- © Fairfax NZ News