Whangārei District councillor Jayne Golightly is understood to have apologised after her partner used a car displaying her council parking permit to allegedly park unlawfully in the city centre.
It is also alleged her partner David Blackley, a former Whangārei mayoral candidate, spoke inappropriately to council parking warden staff issuing the resulting parking infringement ticket.
The car Blackley drove was alleged to have been parked on dotted yellow no-parking lines in Rust Ave, Whangārei, in the week leading up to Christmas. The car was allegedly unwarranted and unregistered at the time.
He allegedly got a $60 parking offence ticket from WDC parking warden staffing contractor Armourguard for the Rust Ave infringement. The car was also alleged to have been ticketed by WDC parking warden staff several days previously for being unwarranted and unregistered, clocking up a total of $400 in fines - $200 for each count - on that occasion.
Council chief executive Rob Forlong refused to confirm the name of the councillor or their partner.
Local Democracy Reporting/the Northern Advocate has lodged a request for formal WDC confirmation of the names under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. However, sources have confirmed Golightly is the councillor concerned.
Forlong did however, comment generally, to say a warden was spoken to "inappropriately" by someone in an unlawfully parked car with a council parking permit attached to it.
"Parking wardens are just doing their job and should be treated with respect," he said.
The matter was escalated through parking warden contractor Armourguard to Forlong who spoke to the councillor concerned.
Forlong said the councillor had, through him, apologised to the council parking contractor.
Local Democracy reporting/the Northern Advocate asked Golightly whether she was aware Blackley was using the car with her council parking permit on this occasion and for other comment by phone, email and text. She did not respond by edition time.
Blackley was approached for comment at the same time. He said he knew nothing about the matter, did not want to ruin his holiday and would respond in mid-February when he had returned from his break.
Local Democracy reporting/the Northern Advocate followed up with a text and email seeking comment. Blackley did not respond to these by edition time.
WDC councillors have council carparking permits to display in their vehicle and use – in legal parking places – when on council business.
Forlong said these entitled councillors to park their vehicles in town when on council business. Partners could use the permit if supporting a WDC councillor on council business.
He said the person involved in the unlawful parking was not on council business.
Blackley unsuccessfully challenged sitting mayor Sheryl Mai in the 2016 Whangārei mayoralty race.
Free parking was the second of his five key platforms in the 13-candidate business and growth-centric Go-Whangārei group he set up to contest that election.
Golightly was also a member of the group. Blackley also stood unsuccessfully as a councillor in that election.