The Minister for Consumer Affairs and Commerce is investigating dodgy parking enforcement and Labour's portfolio spokesman says if the Government doesn't take action, he will.

Jacqui Dean, who took over the Consumer Affairs and Commerce portfolio in December last year, said she would be looking into the issue but would not be drawn on whether the Government would consider issuing legislation to regulate wheel clamping.

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has also said plans to meet with the minister, the Automobile Association and parking enforcement companies over the next few weeks to discuss wheel clamping.

But Auckland mayor Phil Goff appears to have backed off the issue since his time as Mt Roskill's MP.


In 2015 he called wheel clampers "bullies" and earlier labelled the practice a shakedown.

When approached for comment by the Herald this week, Goff would not go as far as calling on the Government to take action, saying only that he would support it if it did.

"Clamping is all too often a disproportionate and arbitrary response to a minor transgression," he said in a statement.

As mayor Goff did not have the power to make law changes to regulate parking enforcement on private land.

Currently, parking enforcement companies operating on private land are bound only by a voluntary code of conduct drawn up in December 2015.

"I would like to see those companies that are not part of this voluntary code change their view and become part of the code," Dean said.

An investigation by the Herald showed a staffer for Amalgamated Car Parking Services swooping on drivers' cars within minutes of them parking in a Mt Eden carpark.

Sitting in an unmarked car for hours on several evenings, motorists were made to pay $150 on-the-spot fees or risk being towed for twice the cost or more.


Until the Herald's investigation Dean said she had not looked into whether or not the code was working and wanted to get an idea of the scale of the problem before saying whether the Government would take action.

"Now the issue has been highlighted to me I will take an interest," she said.

"I will be taking advice on what is happening and we will take it from there. Certainly I am concerned that there is some unfair behaviour."

Dean planned to talk to her officials and have them deliver her a report on the issue, but would not give a timeline for when she expected that to happen by.

Labour's consumer affairs spokesman Michael Wood said the voluntary code regulating wheel clamping wasn't working, and he would be prepared to submit a private member's bill if the government didn't take further action.

There was no reason why work in the ministry shouldn't start by the end of the week, he said.

"We would call on the Government right now to sit down and have a really good look at what's going on."