Wellington parking tickets

January 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

No surprise that Wellington City Council makes more money from tickets than even the much larger Auckland City.

The wardens seem to be on 24 hour patrol 7 days a week. Go visit someone for an hour at 10 pm on a Sunday night in a residents parking zone, and bang you get a ticket – even though there are dozens of empty parks.

Park on a bus stop on a day there are no buses usin that stop , and wham got you.

They also ticket you if the warrant has expired. That money goes to central Government, but I wonder what sort of commission they get from the $200 for doing the ticketing?

34 Responses to “Wellington parking tickets”

  1. billyborker (1,101 comments) says:

    David, why do you have issues with following the law?

    I suppose you also use the disabled spaces at the supermarket because “…there are dozens of empty parks.”

    Maybe those empty parks are for the residents who are yet to return. Your selfishness could deny someone else their legal right to occupy a resident park.

    Do you also think that the speed limit doesn’t apply when you are driving down hill?

    [DPF: You really are not good with this analogy stuff. The analogy would be if New World is closed, then does it matter which of their carparks you park in at 2 am? No. Now explain to me the logic of why I have to park 500 metres away from my friend’s place when it is 10 pm at night, and there are dozens of empty parks outside their place? Parking regulations are useful at time of peak demand, but to enforce them so zealously when there are many empty parks (ie no harm is being caused) is just revenue gathering. It’s like placing speed cameras on the safest motorways instead of the most dengerous backspots]

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  2. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Borker, you are starting to irritate. You seem hell bent on taking a contrary view to just be contrary.

    Bout time you went out for the day and tried to avoid paying the 15% again.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,241 comments) says:

    News story informs all that Wellington’s parking tickets are the lowest … and Wellingtonians are complaining 🙂

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  4. pete (300 comments) says:

    Call the Sensible Sentencing Trust. Clearly the parkings fines are too low to discourage criminals from parking illegally.

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  5. fruitshop (46 comments) says:

    If you are going to park illegally, it is still so much cheaper to be ticketed by WCC than being towed out of empty parking lots patrolled by private tow-truck operators at 3am on Sunday mornings.

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  6. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Well DPF, one theory is that the parking wardens are industrious and eternally vigilant. The alternative hypothesis is that they are just out to get you, personally, and detailed somebody to follow you around. I’m sure there are many in the blogosphere who would support that kind of initiative!

    [DPF: Heh I am not that paranoid. I blame the managers who schedule wardens on at 10 pm to patrol suburban areas]

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  7. Michael E (264 comments) says:

    In the meantime, Queensgate and North City are continuing to burst at the seams with Wellington City residents every weekend. Not that the retailers there mind.

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  8. expat (4,087 comments) says:

    Michael E: Its mental isnt it, I ‘quickly ducked’ into Oxford Street twice this week and it was heaving beyond belief. A quick jab of the elbow and that crippled old lady got out of my way I can tell you 😉

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  9. expat (4,087 comments) says:

    By that I mean, where do these people keep finding the money to spend on shite?

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  10. maurieo (95 comments) says:

    Is the parking fine regime having the desired effect and are there unanticipated effects. The revenue stream provided by the fines could well be an unanticipated bonus that will probably deter the WCC from investigating better options. The parking wardens have a vested interest in writing tickets, less tickets less jobs. The fact that WCC is one of the countries highest ticket issuers suggests that they have got the formula wrong however they are unlikely to want to forgo the revenue stream. If you consider the fines to be another tax the people of and visitors to Wellington are being taxed more than elsewhere and therefore will aviod CBD visits. People avoid the CBD and shop and park in the free suburban areas and change the culture of the CBD.

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  11. side show bob (3,476 comments) says:

    David posted a few days ago about cars that had their speed limits controlled by GPS. Imagine what the local councils or the central government parasites would do with this technology. No need for parking meters, anytime the car is parked in the city or is parked illegally then this would be added to the monthly parking bill. This sort of technology is a wet dream in the making for big brother.

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  12. deanknight (240 comments) says:


    Local authorities retain 90% of any fine imposed, with a 10% deduction to government. See section 73 of the Public Finance Act 1989:

    73 Payment of fines to local authorities and other organisations that conduct prosecutions
    (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section and any other provision of any Act, where a local authority, or other organisation (other than a department, an Office of Parliament, a Crown entity, or an organisation named or described in Schedule 4) that is specifically empowered to do so by any Act, or any person on behalf thereof, prosecutes a person in a Court of law in respect of an offence and the prosecution results in the imposition of a fine, the amount of the fine recovered shall be paid to the local authority or other organisation.
    (2) There shall be deducted from every amount payable to a local authority or other organisation under subsection (1) of this section a sum equal to 10 percent thereof, and this sum shall be credited to the Crown Bank Account or a Departmental Bank Account:
    Provided that, where any money awarded by a Court in respect of any loss or damage is recovered as a fine, no deduction under this subsection shall be made in respect of that money.

    [DPF: Thanks Dean. Just to be clear, do they keep 90% of both breaches of their parking bylaws and also for national offences such as no warrant?]

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  13. fredinthegrass (278 comments) says:

    You think Wellington is bad DPF – dont move to Dunedin. As I was running – okay, walking – into a shop to replenish parking meter
    stash And put some in the meter I saw the motor scooter warden chalk my tyre. The wardens down there just seem to know when
    you are “over” time. Daughter used to live there – said it was more expensive to park than to paying rates!?

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  14. MajorBloodnok (338 comments) says:

    “A sign incorporating the letter ‘P’ on the top of the sign or a loading zone applies between 8am and 6pm Monday through Sunday but not on public holidays…”

    So what sort of parking signs are in the vicinity of your friend’s house that apply 24×7? If there are lots of free spaces at night, then surely the rules need to be changed?

    As for pinging car owners with expired WOF or Registration, I wholeheartedly agree, as the roads are a public space that are shared with other road users. Part of the conditions for being allowed to use the roads is having a roadworthy vehicle, and contributing to the cost of the infrastructure (roads and ACC). I don’t want to be hit by someone who has no brakes.

    There is still room though for a little leniency — eg. within the first week overdue, give a warning only.

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  15. deanknight (240 comments) says:


    The provisions regulating parking are somewhat complicated.
    1. Many of the parking restrictions are “national offences” under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004.
    2. Others are “stationary vehicles offences” under the Transport Act 1962. This includes (a) parking in breach of a restriction in a bylaw made by a local authority under 72 of the Transport Act (most pay and display or coupon parking schemes are schemes enacted under bylaws); and (b) a breach of section 5 of the Transport (Vehicle and Driver Registration and Licensing) Act 1986 (permitting to be used on a road a vehicle that is not licensed and registered).
    3. In the case of the latter stationary vehicles offences, section 43 regulates the retention of infringement fees:

    43 Entitlement to infringement fees
    (1) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, all infringement fees received under section 42A by an enforcement authority or recovered under the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 shall be paid into the Crown Bank Account; except that the enforcement authority may retain such portion of the fees so received as the Minister of Finance from time to time approves as being the expenses incidental to their collection.
    (2) …
    (3) A local authority that is an enforcement authority shall be entitled to retain—
    (a) All infringement fees received by it in respect of offences involving—
    (i) Parking in breach of a bylaw of the local authority in any portion of a road where parking is for the time being governed by the location of parking meters placed pursuant to a bylaw of the local authority; or
    (ii) Parking in any other portion of a road in breach of a bylaw of the local authority prohibiting parking for a period in excess of the period fixed by the bylaw where the infringement notice in respect of the offence was issued by an officer or other person appointed by that authority; and
    (b) All towage fees received by it; and
    (c) Such portion of all other infringement fees received by it as the Minister of Finance from time to time approves.
    (4) The Commissioner shall from time to time, out of money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, pay to a local authority such portion as the Minister of Finance from time to time approves, of the infringement fees (other than towage fees) received by the Commissioner in respect of other offences that involve breaches of the local authority’s bylaws (not being offences that are also offences against an Act or regulation).
    (5) For the purposes of subsections (3)(c) and (4) of this section, the Minister of Finance may approve different portions for different local authorities or enforcement authorities and different categories of infringement offences.
    (6) For the purposes of this section the expression local authority includes an airport authority.

    My understanding is that the approved portion for all these stationary vehicle offences (ie rego offences) is set at 90% local authority / 10% government.

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  16. Turpin (342 comments) says:

    Kerry Prendergast must be pleased, users pays!

    I for one try not to shop in the city if I can help it, sod the business owners as they claim their rates off of turnover.
    Wish I could claim mine off my taxable.
    So sad that WCC interfered with Johnsonville’s plans to make their shopping area better for their customers.
    Don’t think Porirua’s mayor minded much either!

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  17. Lance (3,821 comments) says:

    Power… more power ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

    Who else gets mental images of a Joseph Gerbils type figure, pulling the wings off flies with a wee desk plaque with the words “Parking Infringement Policy Planner”?

    I know someone in West Auckland who to had to fight a parking fine for parking in a bus-stop when they were turning left into a driveway and had to give way to traffic.. I shit you not. They eventually got off but what a bloody long winded process.

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  18. Brian Smaller (4,332 comments) says:

    How does that residents parking thing work when it comes to visitors? I had to feed my sister in laws cat while she was away and parked outside her house in a resident’s parking zone. How do you visit someone or drop something off, or pick up kids?

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  19. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (773 comments) says:

    i HATE parking tickets too, having picked up about $250 of them this year (yes one of them was for the cars warrant having expired the week before – bugger!). The parking vultures are incredibly vigilant.

    But i’m sorry, as an ex inner city resident, nothing pissed me off more than someone parking in a residents park. By your logic i can’t go to the movies or out for dinner and expect to have a park outside my house. Thanks but no thanks.

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  20. Brian Smaller (4,332 comments) says:

    the deity formerly known as nigel6888 – I am not sure if you were referring to my post or not. I want to know how someone living in the part of the city covered by residents parking zones (and not in the inner city but in an inner suburb) has visitors around? Do they have a special card to put on the visitors’ car’s dashboard saying that their visitor is there for x hours?

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  21. reid (21,419 comments) says:

    I can never understand why people blame the wardens. They’re just implementing the policy decisions made by others. You want to blame someone, blame those policymakers.

    The worst part of it is that despite the extra revenue, ratepayers see no improvement in services/reduction in rates.

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  22. peterwn (4,284 comments) says:

    In fairness to WCC they let me off a $200 ticket for failing to display registration when I sent in proof of registration. On another occasion I angle parked in one slot and parked a trailer in the next slot and put 2 pay and displays in the car. I overparked but got a $12 ticket only – they included the trailer in the deal. I was not complaining.

    Until recent years, parking enforcement in Wellington was almost a joke – both with chances of getting a ticket and with collections. The Council hired a couple of old geezers to empty the meters and count the proceeds for banking. They skimmed like mad with the then $2 coins being a bonus as they could remove even more money in their spectacle cases. The Council did not have a clue how money they should have been getting from the meters. For example at 10 hours a day, 60% occupancy and $2/hour (then) they should have been expecting $60 per week per meter – hardly rocket science.

    The less said about the productivity of the wardens the better. At that time Dunedin seemed to have the most stringent parking enforcement.

    If Wellington residents do not like current parking enforcement they should lobby their councillors to decrease the enforcement budget. But then for every person who is upset at the level of enforcement, someone else is upset at lack of enforcement. For example there would be a big hue and cry from Thorndon residents if there was zilch parking enforcement during major stadium events (the Stadium resource consents require parking limitations and their enforcement so the natives do not get all their parking taken).

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  23. Ginja Ninja (2 comments) says:

    DPF was with me the other day when I got a $40 parking ticket. It was on Monday the 30th and town was dead. My vocal opinions on the day can not be published here according to David’s Censorship Laws. Hence his comments on censorship of the internet is somewhat contradictory in my view!

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  24. joeAverage (311 comments) says:

    Try to get the fuckers to clear the DRAINS in GLANMIRE ROAD EXTENION (NEWLANDS) down to the life style blocks been blocked for months and months, gravel all over the road that has been sealedl twice due to the wgtn city council plebes lead by fuckwits lead by a fuckwit bleached blonde headed mayor, you pay your rates and you watch money go down the drain even when you ring 04-4994444 and report a major worry,(but its our money to fix) and lets not talk about the idiots who (run????) dog control , who keep NO RECORDS ,and are SCARED of owners of nasty dogs as its not PC to say register your kid killers BRO I LUV THE WCC a cash cow
    ps we never go into Wgtn to shop, its always north to North city plaza,

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  25. MajorBloodnok (338 comments) says:

    There seems to be a parallel with speeding tickets…

    When the roads are empty, and a car is speeding (up to some “point” — there is a value judgement concerning risk of another road user appearing), where is the victim of the crime?

    Similarly, when the roadside car parks are substantially empty, and a car is parked without paying (or overdue), where is the problem? (Assuming that the reason for parking restrictions are to ensure that those who want to park, get an opportunity to do so.)

    Otherwise, in both cases, it appears to be revenue collecting, with no other justification.

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  26. MajorBloodnok (338 comments) says:

    Voluntary Seatbelt Wearing For Over 18s

    Just a suggestion. It would provide greater opportunity for Darwin Awards contenders to raise the average IQ of NZ.

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  27. Ginja Ninja (2 comments) says:

    Major Bloodnok, with ideas like that you should be Prime Minister of this country – sheer brilliance!

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  28. Alan Wilkinson (2,435 comments) says:

    Isn’t it weird how private companies manage to run parking buildings without making their customers into criminals?

    Anyway, the solution is just to boycott the shops and businesses in that area.

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  29. Oswald Bastable (32 comments) says:

    Ah yes- the Wellington retail discouragement unit!

    That’s why Queensgate is always packed.

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  30. jcuknz (697 comments) says:

    I have no sympathy with people moaning about parking tickets. In over fifty years of driving I have had one speeding ticket which cost me four pound ten shillings in 1964 and five parking tickets … none in the last twenty years … use your brains and obey the law and stop thinking you are a superior being and the rules don’t apply to you. Personally I hate to think my money going into the police coffers so make sure I put some money in the meter. For all this I have been rewarded by the Dunedin City Council with free parking, not in parking buildings, becuase I am over 75yo. As for the parking buildings . Meridian anyway, I make sure I spend ten buck in a Meridan shop .. naturally of something I needs, so I get a free hours parking and am in and out within the hour. A case of using your brain I guess.

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  31. peterwn (4,284 comments) says:

    Alan – Councils would love to be able to ‘decriminalise’ parking tickets and be allowed to use private enterprise debt collectors to collect the money rather than rely on the MOJ collections unit.

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  32. Put it away (2,883 comments) says:

    I’m not hugely fussed about tickets becuase that’s the driver’s choice to break the law, but what those WCC metal rapist “txt to park” meters ? You txt for a park and the service txts back that there was a “communication error” to the parking meter and you get no car park and they TAKE THE FUCKING PARKING FEE from your phone balance anyway! Un-freakin’-beleivable. Taking money for a service they KNOW they haven’t performed is fraud, pure and simple.

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  33. wikiriwhis business (5,174 comments) says:

    with the volume of tickets issued I believe they should be reduced in fines.

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  34. Johnboy (20,828 comments) says:

    Wellingtons a shithole anyway. Shop in good old Lower Hutt and save yourselves a fortune. Our parking wardens are so stupid they can’t write a ticket for over parking as none of the dumbass pricks can tell the time. Go HUTT CITY!!

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