The High Court has quashed a businessman's $40 fine for stopping in a loading zone to deliver files to his office.
Justice Christopher Toogood found that the zone, around the corner from Queen St in the one-way section of Durham St West, was not marked properly in compliance with a 2004 land transport rule.
That was because it had one sign instead of two, a situation common through downtown Auckland for P5 (five-minute parking) zones marked for goods service vehicles.
Seven of 14 zones observed by the Herald on Friday, including another in Durham St West, had just one sign, raising a possibility Lloyd Parrant's legal victory - after four rounds of court hearings over two years - will set a precedent for others needing a quick park to drop off or pick up items.
Mr Parrant is reluctant to disclose how much the fight cost him other than to say the original fine "pales into insignificance".
He initially represented himself before Justices of the Peace but sought legal representation for appeals to the District and High Courts and hopes for a favourable costs finding.
He is keen to spread the word for other drivers who may have been fined for stopping in the zone on genuine errands.
"It wasn't the amount, but the principle behind it - I think the law has to be for everybody - we should all have a decent crack at it if something's wrong."
An Auckland Transport spokesman played down the decision, saying the law had changed three times and zones designated under a previous requirement for one sign would be allowed to stay that way.
But Mr Parrant's lawyer, Chris Wilkinson-Smith, said the council body had argued in court it didn't need two signs in Durham St West "so their interpretations are not infallible".
"There could be quite a few infringement notices out there which should never have been issued and probably people have paid them and they might be looking at getting their money back."
His client acknowledged Justice Toogood did not accept his Land Rover in which he was carrying boxes of files to his office would have been entitled to be in a properly marked loading zone, but the businessman suggested the law needed changing.
Mr Parrant said he had a reserved space in a carpark building further up the street, but would have struggled to carry the boxes to his office.
Story of a fine
*March 2013: Lloyd Parrant receives a $40 infringement notice for parking in a loading zone in Auckland's Durham St West.
*November 2013: Mr Parrant unsuccessfully challenges the notice before JPs.
*2014: He makes an unsuccessful District Court appeal but later receives leave to appeal to the High Court.
*Last week: High Court quashes the fine.