Tauranga council fines total $2.7m

By John Cousins


Expired warrants and registrations made up nearly 80 per cent of the $2.7 million worth of tickets issued by Tauranga City Council parking wardens in the past year.

The hefty contribution to the council's coffers from parking wardens checking warrants of fitness and licence stickers was a feature of the parking enforcement figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times.

Council parking team leader Kevin Nally also highlighted how half the value of fines ended up being waived by the council.

It ended up banking $1.35 million from the diligence of its six parking wardens.

Nearly 31,580 tickets were issued for the year ended June 30, 2012, meaning each warden issued an average of more than 5000 tickets.

A third of the tickets were for expired warrants and registrations, each valued at $200. Their much higher penalty dwarfs the fines issued for pay and display and time zone infringements, which totalled only $550,000.

This figure shrank to $228,000 once motorists' explanations for why they shouldn't pay had been taken into account.

The council's decision to double the period of grace from one month to two months for expired warrants and registrations helped reduce the original $2.4 million worth of fines to $1.27 million.

Tickets issued for expired registrations hugely outnumbered expired warrants by a margin of four to one.

Central city parking infringements were predictably dominated by 10,800 pay and display tickets. There was a further 3010 tickets issued to people who exceeded time zone restrictions where there were no pay and display machines - mainly in the early avenues.

Martin Parkes, the council's transportation operations manager, said revenue from fines contributed nearly a third of the $4.5 million city-wide parking costs. These included the loan and operating costs for the two downtown parking buildings, staff costs and pay and display machine costs. H

e said the council's policy was that ratepayers did not subsidise the parking operation.

There had been an overall drop in revenue, totalling up to $400,000, from the decisions to double the period of grace for warrants and registrations, rationalise the hourly rates for downtown parking and the introduction of free parking on Saturday mornings.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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