Auckland Transport wardens who fined more than two dozen residents for parking on footpaths in Orakei were not so quick to nab a council driver for doing the same thing in one of the same streets.
Jacqueline Barker was annoyed to find an Auckland Council car parked well over a footpath on Tautari St yesterday afternoon - less than a week after residents on the same narrow road were ticketed at 2am for leaving their vehicles in similar positions.
She was visiting a nearby address at about 1.30pm when she saw the car, and decided to pull over to photograph it.
Orakei residents' fury at 2am ticket blitz
She was "quite shocked" to see it parked that way, especially after reading a Weekend Herald report of how about 27 residents on Tautari and Apihai streets woke up on Thursday morning to find $40 fines on their windscreens for parking with two wheels on the kerb.
"It's really disappointing because they're the people that are enforcing the rules and they need to be sticking to them as well," Mrs Barker said.
"I thought it was a bit of a joke actually. And it wasn't even just slightly on the kerb, it was quite significantly up there..."
She said the car was still in the same position when she left the area half an hour later.
Orakei Local Board chair Desley Simpson said the photograph showed "a blatant example of do what I say, not what I do."
She said it made a mockery of Auckland Transport's enforcement practices, and suggested it follow Dunedin City's example in considering allowing cars to have two wheels parked on footpaths in designated streets.
Auckland Transport is sticking by the decision of its wardens to ticket cars in the early hours of Thursday morning, saying the two streets were not considered narrow and road markings were not needed to prescribe correct parking.
But a spokesman said this morning that the agency was unable to take action against the driver of the council car photographed by Mrs Barker.
"We can't enforce off a photo - the only people who can enforce it are parking officers," he said.
"You need to ring it into the council, and they can track down who it is."
The spokesman, whose organisation is a council agency, said Mrs Barker should have alerted it at the time so it could have sent a warden to the scene.
He said no car was exempted from parking illegally, except for emergency services vehicles in mitigating circumstances.
Had a warden been on Tautari St yesterday afternoon, the council car would have been ticketed.
"We would ticket them like we would anyone else, and we certainly would ticket our own vehicles.
The council has meanwhile owned up to the misdeameanour, and says it will remind staff of their need to observe the road code.
"We can confirm a fleet car was on the street yesterday afternoon on council business," said people and capability director Christine Etherington.
"We will be reminding staff of their responsibilities when using council property and that they must follow the road code at all times.
"The public is reminded that if they see a vehicle believed to be parked illegally, they should call Auckland Transport immediately so they can dispatch a parking officer to investigate."
Ms Etherington said the council fully supported the work of Auckland Transport and its parking officers.
Residents of Tautari St are furious over Auckland Transport's action against them, saying that if they had parked correctly, access would have been obscured for emergency services vehicles and rubbish trucks, risking damage to their cars.
On a section of the street measured by the Herald, where two cars were parked correctly on the road, there was just over 2m of space between them for vehicles to drive through.
The footpaths on each side were slightly wider than 3m.
Tautari St resident Paige Moran said earlier that the fines were ridiculous.
"We are all quite angry about it, it's ridiculous," she said. "It's a narrow street to start with and the footpaths are extremely wide, so it forces cars to park half on the footpath.
"The people who live on this street, no one complains about it because everyone has to do it and has done it for years."
One resident who received a ticket, Lyzadie Renault, said it was safer and more courteous to park half on the footpath.
Her home has no driveway and the family's Range Rover does not fit inside their old, small garage that sits at street level.
"It's common sense, it just means that people can get through easily and the whole street does it for that exact reason - nobody is trying to break the rules or is fully blocking the sidewalk, it's being considerate for people using the road.
"When two cars are parked fully on the road, even if you have a normal-sized car, you have to go really slow, let alone for emergency vehicles or all the construction trucks and vans in this neighbourhood, plus rubbish trucks on Thursdays."
Mrs Renault said she had lived on the street for five years and it was the first time the issue had been raised.
The Auckland Transport spokesman said the tickets were issued when a parking officer was called in response to a complaint.
"In total we issued 27 infringements for parking on the footpath and one for incorrect kerb parking [facing the wrong direction]," he said.
By being parked in such a way, motorists were breaking the Land Transport Road User Rules. He said the road was not considered narrow and the agency saw no need for road markings to remedy the issue.
"There is no requirement to mark the road or put up signage to indicate vehicles should not stop on footpaths."
- Additional reporting by Mathew Dearnaley