A large group of Napier residents has filed a judicial review against the city council because of their anger over a housing development.
In September, the council revealed it had agreed, in principle, to sell a lot of land on Prebensen Drive to Kāinga Ora so about 100 houses could be built.
Many residents in the neighbouring housing development Parklands were angry when they found the council had actually made the decision behind closed doors nine months earlier, in December 2021.
The Parklands Napier Residents and Ratepayers Association Incorporated filed the application for judicial review on 7 December.
Spokesperson Craig Jones told RNZ more than 200 residents unanimously decided to go to court because they were “frustrated” with the council.
“They’ve just refused to negotiate, absolutely refused, they’ve done all this behind everyone’s back.
“They [say they] all want to be open and transparent and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
In its statement of claim to the Napier High Court, the association said the community members had a “legitimate expectation” that the decision would be made in an “open, transparent and democratically accountable manner”.
But it said the council had “acted contrary to the legitimate expectations of the community”.
The association wants the court to quash the council’s decision.
The council told RNZ it was taking legal advice on the matter.
“It’s not appropriate for us to address the substance of the proceedings while they remain before the court, therefore we won’t be making any further public comment,” a spokesperson said.
The court documents also said councillor Sally Crown had failed to declare a conflict of interest in her vote, as her business was a contractor to Kāinga Ora.
Crown also declined to comment, citing the matter was before the courts.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz