West Auckland mall calls in towies after sportscar parked in disabled spot

An Auckland property developer parked his late-model Lamborghini in a mobility parking space without a permit.

A shopper snapped photos of the 2011 Aventador sports car - worth about $400,000 - at LynnMall in West Auckland on Monday and sent them to the Herald.

The images showed the car parked in a clearly marked mobility space with no permit displayed.

Photo supplied
Photo supplied

The man who took the photo, who did not wish to be named, said the owner's parking caught the attention of passersby.

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"Some people were admiring the car and some people were disgusted about it taking advantage of disabled people by parking in disability carparks."

The car's owner, Peters Properties director Gerard Peters, told the Herald he left his car there for "a couple of minutes" as he was in a rush.

Peters Properties director Gerard Peters.
Peters Properties director Gerard Peters.

He said he regretted the decision and understood the parks were allocated for good reason.

"I have a disabled brother," he said. "Many cars get towed from that area so it is unfair that you are purposely victimising myself because of the calibre of my vehicle."

LynnMall centre manager Lauren Riley said it was not the first time the car had breached the terms of parking at the centre by using a mobility spot, so staff took the measure of having it towed.

She said calls were placed over the centre's loud speaker system for 30 minutes to notify the driver before it was towed.

New Zealand Enforcement Service monitors the LynnMall carpark, but mall security contacted NZ Towing to remove the car.

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A spokesman for NZ Towing said the car was removed on Monday, but the owner did not collect it from the Portage Rd site until the next day.

"He rang us and said he was coming but never showed up. We don't normally have that type of expensive vehicle stored in the yard so the owner of the company had to up our insurance while it was here."

He said the vehicle owner was given a $300 fine for the towing and overnight storage fees.

CCS Disability Action chief executive David Matthews said people weren't getting the message about mobility parks.

"It's a sad reflection on peoples' attitudes towards those people that need these spaces so they can access the community and it's disappointing to see that this problem is not improving."

It is not the first time shoppers have snapped a Lamborghini in a mobility space. A Facebook page called "You've got my carpark, do you want my disability too?" published a photo of a yellow Gallardo model outside Club Fitness in Albany after the driver reportedly told a passerby he "didn't want to get a scratch on his door".

The page was started in late 2012 by a Waikato wheelchair user to raise awareness by naming and shaming those who abused the parks.

Auckland Transport issued 3829 infringement notices for the offence last year and have issued 805 so far this year.

More than 100,000 mobility parking permits are held by New Zealanders. They cost $35 to $50 for short- or long-term permits and are valid for up to five years.