Challenge your parking tickets, Consumer NZ advises after Wellington case

SIMON MAUDE / STUFF

Consumers should challenge “unreasonable” parking tickets, Consumer NZ advises.

Anyone given a parking ticket they think is unreasonable should “duke it out” with parking companies, the head of Consumer NZ says.

Speaking after Wilson Parking admitted handing out two tickets to a campervan in a free Wellington car park, Sue Chetwin said the cost of any breach notice had to be reasonable, and people should always challenge them.

“We say people should only pay what they think is reasonable, and let them chase you for the rest.

There are five marked parking spaces in a small lot off Karo Dr where users can park for free. The neighbouring Wilson ...

ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

There are five marked parking spaces in a small lot off Karo Dr where users can park for free. The neighbouring Wilson Parking lot charges for parking.

“Keep duking it out with them.”

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A Wilson spokeswoman said the notices given to Shane Leach for parking in a free lot off Karo Dr in central Wellington were issued accidentally, and it was a human mistake.

Shane Leach, who has been ticketed by Wilson Parking twice in an area where it had no jurisdiction.

ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

Shane Leach, who has been ticketed by Wilson Parking twice in an area where it had no jurisdiction.

“The matter has been addressed and the notices cancelled.”

The company had not ticketed vehicles in any other Wellington city car parks it did not own 

“However, there was one other incident in Kapiti Coast. All five breach notices were cancelled, and the oversight was addressed with the issuing officer.”

Chetwin, the chief executive of Consumer NZ, said on Tuesday that people ticketed by parking companies should contest the charges.

“They consider them as fines, as if there’s some authority over it.

“Car parking companies have no legal authority to impose fines.”

Notices were enforceable, but the charges were debatable, and the cost had to be “reasonable”.

“If the parking costs $3 an hour, then it’s unreasonable to be charged $65 for being a few minutes late.”

Many companies charge a $65 flat rate for anyone who parks longer than they have paid for.

Wilson said the company did not issue fines or infringements for damages, but sought to recover the cost of patrolling and checking parks for compliance.

“You will be surprised to learn that 50 per cent of breaches issued are for ‘parkers’ who have made no attempt to pay any part of the parking fee.

“Due to this, Wilson has to monitor its car parks to prevent and minimise revenue loss.

“Patrolling car parks is a very manual process performed by licensed and trained security officers. Most require vehicles and specialised monitoring and safety equipment.”


 – Stuff

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