It's a sure-fire way to ruin your day - returning to your car to find a parking fine waiting for you.
But in a moment of benevolence, Rotorua Lakes Council has decided to dismiss and forget potentially hundreds of parking infringements, for first-time offenders.
"For the last seven months we interacted with 300,000 users of the system," council spokesman Stavros Michael said.
"There were 2400 infringement notices people hadn't paid. The excuses for that rationale varies on a case-to-case basis.
"To clean the slate, we identified that people who have offended the first time will be waived for infringements. There's a number who are repeat offenders, obviously, those will be upheld because you can be forgiven the first time, but not ongoing infringements."
The somewhat "unexpected" gesture of goodwill comes after the installation of new parking technology in the business district, which left many parkers confused.
"We have high numbers of visitors into the city, at least 500 new visitors every day," Michael said.
"So availability of parking is reliable.
"Beyond that, we will continue to work with the business sector and any changes needed we'll continue to make."
Rotorua Lakes Council income from CBD parking was more than $30,000 a month since the new technology was installed last May.