City backs verge parking officers

By Michele McPherson

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The cars of two parking wardens have been snapped parked behind wooden bollards, but the Tauranga City Council maintains their staff were not in the wrong.

Beach-goer Craig Cuff told the Bay of Plenty Times he was annoyed when he spotted the sign-written cars on Grace Ave, near the intersection with Marine Pde, on Saturday morning so he took a photo.

The Te Puna resident said the parking wardens had earlier caught his attention while issuing tickets to vehicles parked along the beach. He assumed the fines were for not having a warrant of fitness or registration as there were no parking meters or parking time limit signs along most of the beachfront.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Mr Cuff said the wooden bollards were obviously aimed at deterring motorists wishing to park there. "That's what they're for, to keep people off the grass."

Mr Cuff said in his opinion the wardens' choice of parking location was "definitely" an abuse of their role. "I was annoyed with them issuing tickets down the street and not practising what they preach."

Tauranga City Council's group manager of customer services and environmental monitoring Peter Frawley said he had checked the area where the cars were parked and there was no council signage prohibiting parking on the grass verge.

"So the cars were not illegally parked," he said.

However, Mr Frawley said he would have preferred the officers had parked elsewhere. "Saturday was a very busy one at the Mount I understand and the parking staff would have been pressed to find a marked space in the Marine Pde area to resort to parking on this grass verge."

Mr Frawley said he intended to get a fuller explanation of the circumstances today.

Mr Cuff said he would use of the new-found parking spot next time he was at the beach. "If that's not an illegal place to park I'll go and park a vehicle there and see if it gets a ticket."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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