A Wellington man who discovered a police college trainee accidentally sent him a ticket, has discovered cops were not only using his licence but those of at least 30 others.

And the Privacy Commissioner said it could be an issue under the Privacy Act.

Dave Christensen was put through an "absolute nightmare" month-long saga after receiving an infringement notice in the mail in April for driving with a cellphone.

Trouble was, Christensen didn't own the car and had never even driven a Holden. He was instead driving a busload of merry children off to school camp in Otaki.


After weeks of contacting the Ministry of Justice, who is the contact agency on the ticket, he contacted the Herald who helped resolve the issue.

Police last month admitted a police trainee had accidentally issued Christensen a ticket during a training exercise.

When asked how it happened, Superintendent Steve Greally, national road policing manager, said at the time the ticket was accidentally created in the "live" OnDuty app as opposed to the training version.

But Christensen knew that late last year he had surrendered a spare licence he'd been using while waiting for his new one equipped with his P licence.

He questioned a senior officer who came to visit him at home last month, who confirmed the college had been using his licence.

However, not only had they been using his licence, but Christensen claims he was told they'd been using about 30 other driving licences belonging to other members of the public.

"It's really false pretences in a way. I've mentioned it to a few people and they're flabbergasted."

Although he had an inkling the cops must have been using his licence, "I never, ever imagined that's what they would do".

"I don't think they should be have been doing that full stop. It's not being honest, is it?"

Christensen said he was assured by the visiting officer that the practice had since been scrapped.

A police spokesman confirmed police had been using the licences but could not confirm exactly how many.

He said they had been using licences belonging to members of the public since officers started using iPhones on the job. The roll-out began in 2013.

The spokesman confirmed police had since stopped using real licences as part of training.

A spokesman for the Privacy Commissioner's Office said the incident "may raise issues under the Privacy Act".

"The man could make a complaint to our office. We then would look at the circumstances and determine if a breach had occurred."

Police Minister Stuart Nash was approached by the Herald for comment.

A press secretary for the minister said he would not comment because it was "an operational issue for Police themselves".