An Auckland man says he will no longer visit Hamilton after being issued a $60 parking fine for his motorhome.
Kenny Paton says he stopped in at the Te Rapa Countdown and Kmart in July, picking up some supplies on his way to a job in Te Awamutu.
Travelling in his motorhome, he parked where he has on at least four previous occasions, as further away from other shoppers as he can.
Given the motorhome is sizeably larger than regular cars, he parked across two parks, ensuring that both the front and rear of the vehicle was not poking out and causing a hazard.
After grabbing some food at Countdown and supplies from Kmart, Paton said he was shocked, and then annoyed, to find a $60 parking ticket on his windscreen when he returned.
"How can that be reasonable?"
Paton was so annoyed that he ignored the ticket, until last week receiving a reminder and a warning to pay the outstanding ticket.
He said there were no other parks at the car park large enough to accommodate a vehicle of his size, but there was little he could do about that.
"Whilst I acknowledge that I am occupying two spaces – in a motorhome, the spaces provided are not large enough to park in only one space – it's physically impossible to shorten my vehicle by 5 feet, every time I want to park it.
"There are no larger spaces in the carpark – no car and trailer, minibus or motorhome options – as such I chose an area on the very far edge – as far away from the actual shops as I could – and parked in a manner that did not interfere with the traffic flow – but did occupy 2 spaces not one."
Paton said there were a number of motorhome-friendly towns throughout New Zealand, and the Waikato, including Paeroa, Thames and Te Aroha, but seemingly not Hamilton.
"I come through Hamilton a lot for work and I've come through with my wife, as well, and it's an obvious place to stop, rather than stopping at a town centre and you're not getting into a multi-storey [car park] in town.
"It's a nice open car park and you can get back onto the main drag really easily."
Paton said travelling in a motorhome, he didn't have to stop and spend money at local businesses, he could have brought his own food and supplies with him.
However, he was following the edict from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to "be kind" and trying to do his bit for different economies.
After contacting the Herald, he received an email from TMS waiving the fine. He said he would be following up to ask why it happened and to ensure that it did not happen to others in the future.
The company that issued the ticket - Traffic Monitoring Services [TMS] - has been contacted for comment.
However, a Countdown spokesperson said they didn't request or issue the ticket.
"We don't have a specific parking policy as it varies from store to store depending on the carpark and landlord. At Countdown Te Rapa there is a 120-minute shopping limit for shoppers.
"We don't have any issue with customers visiting our stores in their motorhomes, they're very common in a lot of our stores around the country."