Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | March 3, 2010

what parking fines?!

Laughing this morning at a story on the stuff website about an older Tasman couple who are having to pay court costs and associated fines for some parking tickets issues in Christchurch in 1988.

They say they never received the tickets and were in fact out of the country when two of them were issued (perhaps an old flatmate was at fault for those, they said).

They received a letter last month from the Auckland District Court, saying Trish owed $324 in unpaid fines. No details, just that it was going to take $25 a week out of her benefit until it was paid. Isn’t that crazy. Don’t they have an expiry date or something? The court/council should have to prove they tried to tell her about them for the first five or six years.  Twenty two years isn’t exactly an efficient use of ratepayers money is it?!

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago, although I was at fault (initially).

When I lived in Christchurch and gave up my bike for a car, I used to arrive late to teeline shorthand classes in the morning and squeeze myself into a park on Madras St. Now sometimes, the chrome on the outside of my front bumper might have been ever so slightly over an orange dotted line near a corner and I would get a $40 parking fine. I think this happened twice. Being a broke student and living off the generous pickings of my parents most of the time (only $80 student allowance – but no loans!),  I screwed them up and vowed to pay for them when the reminder notice came.

Which it never did.

Several years later, I was working in Alexandra when Mum rang most perturbed about the bailiff that had arrived on her doorstep to claim several hundred dollars worth of unpaid parking tickets, court fines and association costs. D’oh!

My car’s registration had still been attached to my Gore address and my stunningly attractive and ever-so helpful (not) former landlord had thrown away all the letters.

Fortunately, I had it transferred to Alexandra, wrote the judge a lovely letter explaining what had happened and enclosed a cheque for the original parking tickets and the first lot of fees. Case over. Phew!

I pay my parking tickets the day I get them now.

Apart from the one I received in Palmerston North ($200!) for not displaying a correct registration. My car has been faithfully registered since we bought it in 2000. All the registration card-thingies are faithfully put in the little pocket on the windscreen. And there they sit, until this day, when having fun with the corners in the Manawatu Gorge on my way to Palmy, they all slide out and come across the dashboard and fall on the floor.

I have every intention of putting them back in, but forgot. As I tend to do (someone gave me something to drop off at the school office yesterday as I walked to my car. I brought it all the way home and never gave it another thought until they rang me to see where it was!) But I digress. As I also tend to do.

Anyhoo, to cut a long story short, I wrote to the Palmerston North City Council explaining my plight and enclosing a picture of all nine registration card-thingies displayed on my dashboard. They let me off.

I like them.

Sometimes all people need is a little communication. 🙂



  1. […] What parking fines?! RivettingKateTaylor finds communication can counter fines. […]

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