Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Victim suspects shops take kickbacks

Mote Pahulu. Photo / Dean Purcell
Mote Pahulu. Photo / Dean Purcell

Mote Pahulu and his family no longer shop at businesses surrounding a Manurewa carpark patrolled by NZ Wheel Clamping after a run-in he says was vindictive in its absurdity.

Mr Pahulu's wife Sela had her wheel clamped and was fined $180 after parking with her tyres touching the markings of the bordering disabled space.

"It was completely free for a disabled person to park. She was that close because there was a car on the other side that was too close to her ... but a huge truck can park in there, no problem."

Mr Pahulu went to the carpark after being phoned by his disbelieving wife and had a heated argument with the clamper, but in the end paid the $180 in order to go home.

His wife's friend from church was clamped at the same carpark the next day after crossing the road briefly to collect something she had left at the laundromat.

"She got back and her car was clamped. Guess what? Because her English was not that great the fee was $400 before the damn clamp was released."

Mr Pahulu suspected some of the shops bordering the carpark received kickbacks and said his family now shopped at Manukau City.

Sean Hika, group manager at NZ Wheel Clamping, said he couldn't comment directly without more details of the case. "But I can tell you we don't charge $400 on the spot, that's not a fee that is charged. We wouldn't do that because somebody couldn't speak English - that's just ridiculous."

- NZ Herald

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