Aucklanders rack up $21 million in unpaid tickets since Super City was formed.

Almost $9 million in parking and traffic fines has gone unpaid in Auckland in the past year.

The most owed by one person to Auckland Council is $37,523, "made up of a combination of parking and traffic offences".

Cumulatively, $21.2 million of fines - for parking offences, traffic violations, and driving in the bus lane - remain unpaid since the Super City council took office in November 2010.

Aucklanders owe a further $3.2 million in library fines for lost and damaged books and overdue charges.

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The largest amount owed by one person is almost $2100.

Elsewhere, Hamilton City and Waikato District councils combined are owed more than $350,000 in overdue and lost library books; $101,000 in fines for dog-related offences went unpaid to Hutt City Council last year; and Napier City Council is still chasing almost $600,000 in unpaid traffic offences from the last financial year, which amounts to almost half of the fines issued in that period.

New Zealanders owe more than half a billion dollars in unpaid fines for all offences.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said that if people chose not to pay, the punishment could increase.

"The court has a range of powers to collect unpaid fines including clamping vehicles, seizing and selling property, setting compulsory deductions against a person's wages or benefit, issuing warrants to arrest and suspending drivers' licences."

Issuing authorities, such as police and councils, could transfer outstanding fines owed to them to the courts after 56 days, the ministry spokesman said.

In terms of not paying fines, judges have the ability to sentence and resentence people to prison or home detention for reparation costs ordered through the courts that have gone unpaid, and any unpaid fines can affect a person's credit rating and their ability to gain credit in future.

Auckland drivers have been particularly bad at breaking the city's road rules.

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Since the Super City came into being, parking tickets in particular have been on the rise - almost doubling in the past four years.

Last year parking fines worth more than $10 million were issued, up from about $5.5 million in the 2010/11 financial year.

Almost $23 million in traffic fines - for not displaying a valid warrant of fitness, driving an unregistered vehicle and other licensing offences - were issued in the city last year, as well as $2.5 million in infringements for driving in bus lanes.

An Auckland Transport spokesman said all revenue collected from parking or driving offences "goes back into roading and public transport".

At August 31, the person with the largest amount outstanding owed $1.8 million, for "fines relating to breaches of the Customs Act and defrauding the revenue of Customs", according to the Ministry of Justice.

The largest single outstanding fine was $960,514, for "providing misleading information to obtain benefit/insurance".

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Anyone wishing to check their balance with the Ministry of Justice or arrange payment can do so at www.fines.govt.nz or by calling 0800 4 Fines (0800 434 637).

Outstanding Debt

Christchurch City Council

$1,630,224

Hamilton City Council

• Library fines:

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$236.682.73

Most owned by one person:

$1285.70

Environment Canterbury

$1500

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outstanding

Auckland Council
• Traffic and parking fines: $21,207,000
Most owned by one person: $37,523

• Library fines: $3.2 million
Most owned by one person: $2,093.83
Ministry of Justice
$567,095,290
Most owned by one person: $1,776,995

• Have you got a story to tell about an outstanding fine? Email newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz