A Countdown customer who briefly ducked away to find a toilet was fined $50 for not being a "bona fide shopper" for the time her car was parked in a free inner-city supermarket park.

The woman, who has asked not to be named, was left shocked and baffled by the ticket, which she received despite shopping at Countdown in Quay St and not noticing any signs stating she could not leave the premises while parked in the 90-minute spot.

Despite a Countdown spokesperson yesterday saying there was generally no problem with customers needing to pop away while visiting the supermarket, the parking company that issued the ticket said signage warned people could be fined for doing so.

After being approached by the Herald, Parking Enforcement Services, an arm of Wilson Parking, reviewed the fine a second time and decided to waive it.


She had visited the supermarket to buy a few items but was "caught short" and walked 10 minutes to use the toilets at Britomart, without realising restrooms were available at Countdown. After returning, buying her groceries and heading back to her car, she found a parking officer placing a ticket on her car.

A Countdown spokesperson told the Herald there was generally "no issue" if customers needed "to pop to other places while they're with us, so long as they're in the 90-minute time frame and have proof of purchase".

But after reviewing the complaint, Parking Enforcement Services national manager Matt Ransom said he was satisfied the notice was issued "in accordance with our procedures".

The woman spent about $10 on milk and other small items.