Veteran Auckland activist Penny Bright dies after cancer diagnosis

Auckland activist Penny Bright has died aged 64 after battling stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Ms Bright received news in May the disease was "incurable and inoperable". Doctors gave her only days to live.

"The fighter in me says we shall see about THAT!" she said at the time.

Ms Bright was known for her protests against Auckland Council and the Government in general. She campaigned in several elections including for the Auckland mayoralty, the electorates of Tamaki and of Helensville. 

Ms Bright, a former sheet metal worker, claimed her cancer diagnosis was the result of her years-long stand-off with Auckland Council over her unpaid rates.

"The massive stress I have been subjected to over the forced sale of my freehold home has gone straight to my gut," Ms Bright said.

In 2016, she appealed an Auckland District Court decision which said she had to pay $34,182.15 in penalties and rates to Auckland Council, which she had not paid since 2007.

Her appeal was unsuccessful, and she applied for an interim injunction to stop the sale of her home.

In January, the council announced that it had asked the High Court to start the process of selling her Kingsland cottage.

But then in May the council said it had officially resolved the rates dispute and Ms Bright would be staying in her home.

"Our preference was always to come to an agreement that allowed Ms Bright to stay in her home. We can now all move on and allow Ms Bright to focus on more important matters," Auckland Council group chief financial officer Matthew Walker said.

"We have advised the High Court Registrar of this outcome and he will now be withdrawing the rating sale of her Kingsland property."

Ms Bright had refused to pay rates since 2007, saying she would not pay until the council was clearer about where her money was going.


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