An under-fire parking company has refunded a grieving mother who was clamped as she gave a statement to police about her son's death, but is refusing to refund her friend, also clamped.
The pair were stung by Elite Parking Services at Sel Peacock Dr in West Auckland on Tuesday - which is also where a Herald reporter was clamped two weeks ago, and confronted the company on-camera.
While Louise Allen, who accompanied her grief-stricken friend to Henderson Police Station, met with a detective for 90 minutes, both their cars were clamped.
"I didn't see the sign, all we saw was P120," Allen told the Herald
She was told by the clamper that they had to pay $200 per car.
"Someone's died and you're sitting there with an Eftpos machine in your lap," she told the Elite Parking Services staffer.
But he wouldn't budge, even when Allen went and got the detective the pair had been speaking with.
The officer pleaded with the clamper to "have some ethical backbone", Allen said.
The detective also urged her to go to the media with her story.
She paid the $400 as she didn't want her friend to pay.
Allen has since been refunded $200 for her friend's car but is yet to be refunded for her's.
In an email seen by the Herald, Elite Parking Services told Allen they're contracted to monitor the car park for the landlord and tenants and enforcing their rights as per the signage on site.
It then pointed the blame at the police station itself, saying they had raised the issue with the station before about the lack of parking and that they'd already suggested they leased permits to victims of crime so they could park on their property without being clamped.
The email also stated that Elite had returned $200 as "a gesture of goodwill" to Allen and that its management team would be taking her letter of appeal and a news article to the police in Henderson today to ask about why they didn't allocate parking for her and her grieving friend.
Allen said she planned on chasing up a refund on principle, and had no intention of giving up.
Inspector Scott Webb, of the Waitemata police, said police had "a great deal of empathy for the two women whose vehicles were clamped".
"The officer the women had been speaking to endeavoured to reason with the clamping company on their behalf, however the company was not negotiable and demanded payment before the vehicles were unclamped.
"As the clamping took place on private property, this is a civil matter and is dealt with by the owners or landlord of the property, not police."
Street parking was an option if the 15 designated parks at the Henderson police station were full, he said.