While the four commissioners, who are chaired by John Robertson, governing the Kaipara district face critics promoting a rates strike, former district councillor Peter Bull is calling on ratepayers to support the government-appointed team.
Mr Bull said the commissioners had inherited a district which had been through "total destruction" and they were doing what they were supposed to do by trying to get Kaipara living within its means for day-to-day expenditure.
Mr Bull, a Maungaturoto farmer with 15 years' local government experience on the Kaipara District Council (KDC) and former Otamatea County Council, said he was "absolutely livid" about the way the KDC had "destroyed" Mangawhai through its conduct with the town's sewerage scheme.
He had seen the bill which Northland MP Mike Sabin was working on for Parliament to validate "irregularities" in Mangawhai sewerage rates.
"It [the bill] is not looking to whitewash any genuine illegalities. It's looking to regularise the rates," Mr Bull said.
He warned people who had been "sucked in" to not paying their rates that they could build up penalties which would increase the account they would eventually have to pay.
Meanwhile, the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents' Association is waiting for the courts to reopen after the recess to lodge its application for a High Court review of the legality of KDC rates.
The owners of about 1100 Kaipara properties - more than half of them in Mangawhai - have not paid their 2012/13 rates.
And of the owners of the remaining 12,800 properties in the district, about 2600 have only part-paid their rates.
Increases which have more than doubled some rates were set by the former council in a bid to deal with an $80 million debt mostly attributable to the Mangawhai sewerage scheme.
The "Legal Eagle" website of retired Auckland lawyer Clive Boonham accuses the commissioners of seeking a local bill to validate the rates so illegal debts could be dumped on ratepayers and those responsible escape.
Mr Boonham claims no court would entertain any action to recover rates which the council admitted were invalid.
Source: Northern Advocate
Group's website: Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers Association