COMMENT:

If you've ever wondered why the turnout for local body elections is so low, wonder no longer.

City councils are unpopular because they offer nothing but platitudes to their long suffering rate-paying citizens.

Many of us have had run-ins with them in the past and generally, if not always, they leave you frustrated and the following example is typical.

Advertisement

Living between two cities is never easy, it's often difficult to keep a track on things - like the warrant of fitness on your car.

Arriving back in Wellington after two weeks in Auckland in early December I discovered the warrant on my car, parked outside my house, had expired in November.

What date it had expired was impossible to determine because the ink had faded after a year to such an extent that it was impossible to read. The car was checked into the warrant shop the next day but one wasn't issued because a minor part was needed.

The next day a $200 ticket was slapped on the windscreen but given that I had complied as best I could I assumed an explanation would have been accepted by any reasonable parking agency.

Three appeals were made and rejected with the final one showing photographic evidence of the illegible expiry date on the windscreen sticker. On each occasion they were rejected, essentially because as the vehicle's owner it was made clear I should have known the expiry date.

The following two paragraphs in the Wellington Council parking services letter rejecting the final appeal shows how warped the money grubbing law is.

"There is a provision in law, that if a vehicle fails a WoF, a driver is given 28 days to get the vehicle up to standard and return for re-inspection and they will not be charged a second inspection fee, this does not allow a vehicle to be driven, used or parked on a public road, (even if it is outside your residence) during that 28 days.

"There is a also a provision in law that allows a vehicle to be driven without a WoF (if it is safe to do so), but this is only for the sole purpose of getting the vehicle repaired or re-inspected. The vehicle however, cannot be parked on a public road, (even if it is outside your residence)."

Advertisement

Where you're meant to park your vehicle while waiting for the part, for starters, is beyond me. There is a month grace period for renewing your warrant. Mine, unbeknown to me for pretty good reason, had gone two days beyond that.

This is nothing more than revenue gathering.

There is an offer to fight the issue through the courts but unfortunately time doesn't permit that.

It's not the money that matters here, it's the principle that as a law abiding citizen everything possible was done.

For many a $200 fine would be a severe financial hardship and that's why this is an issue that deserves a public airing with a warning, don't under any circumstances transgress parking services, no excuse will wash.