Row over Masterton carpark fine

By Emily Norman, Andrew Bonallack -
12 comments
Carl Gilpin is disputing a $40 fine for illegal parking in a Masterton District Council-owned carpark in the town. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK
Carl Gilpin is disputing a $40 fine for illegal parking in a Masterton District Council-owned carpark in the town. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK

A MASTERTON nurse says he will fight Masterton District Council "every step of the way" after being fined $40 for parking in the wrong direction in a diagonal off-road carpark.

Carl Gilpin was visiting the Wairarapa Resource Centre with his wife last month and left his car parked nose-out in the departmental building carpark which is owned by council.

"On our return we were very surprised to find a parking officer giving us a ticket ... Now I'm familiar with parking on the correct side of the road to the direction of traffic, but in an off-street carparking lot?

"I think it was far safer to drive my van forward out of the parking lot than backing it out. People do those drive through parks all the time, it just makes it easier and safer to get out when you leave."

Mr Gilpin asked council to consider waiving the fine -- "we don't have a lot of cash and we would appreciate one less bill at the end of the month", but council elected not to cancel the notice.

In New Zealand it is not permitted to park facing oncoming traffic on a roadway, and under a Masterton District Council bylaw, it is illegal to park in reverse in the council-owned off-road diagonal parking bays.

Mr Gilpin, who moved to Masterton from Auckland two years ago, said he sees people park in this fashion all the time and doesn't think it is a risk to anyone's safety because it is not on a roadway.

"I love Masterton, but the council are very Aucklandish in their behaviour regarding parking," he said.

"Why do they have to be so dogmatic? Following the letter of the law but not seeing the spirit of the law?"

Mr Gilpin said he would understand if he was ticketed for overstaying a park or double parking, "but I honestly don't think I deserve a $40 fine for this".

"I'll fight this every step of the way," he said.

"You can't afford to roll over. There'll be poor old people getting tickets, how do they get on? The council need to start acting a bit kind and respectful."

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