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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22976
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi, I got a parking ticket at wilsons car park in Auckland.

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Hi, I got a parking ticket at wilsons car park in Auckland. It costs $6.50 per hour. I was 15 minutes late and got a $65 fine. This is a 1000% fine. I thought in NZ there was a limit to what % can be charged. Please advise if this is legal. Thanks Mike

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : Unfortunately the parking company can set their own rules about the cost of parking. The only basis for contesting this is to take them to the Disputes Tribunal and argue whether this is reasonable. The parking companies usually say that the penalties for parking over time are displayed and that you should therefore be on notice that a penalty will be charged. If the notice was obscured or not there you may have an argument.
christhelawyer : There is no limit except for reasonableness, and they will argue that this an appropriate fee.
christhelawyer : The distinction from parking tickets on the road is that this is private land, and they can therefore set their own fees and penalties.
christhelawyer : I am sorry I cannot give you better news on this.

Again though, is 1000% deemed reasonable. I think if it was $6.50 per hour, reasonable would be 1x rate (as they have lost this) and the admin cost of say $15. Therefore $20-30 is about right. I think $65 is completely unreasonable and i bet if they displayed $65 late fee that there would plenty of free parks as nobody would park there.


Is your advise to pay first then take to Disputes tribunal. Hoew is this different to the class action against the banks. Its unreasonable charge.

christhelawyer : Because they are not a local authority like a council they have to claim against you. This is not a parking ticket and in the infringement system at the court, so you can write to the collection agency and ask for this to be heard in the tribunal.
christhelawyer : While I agree with you this is unreasonable, the parking companies often get away with this, so I hope the tribunal sorts this for you.

So do i pay the ticket costs to the collection agency first and then go to the tribunal or do i hold off and take to court.

christhelawyer : If you do nothing they will sue you in court. They will then claim costs, so I suggest you contact the Collection Agency and tell them you want to argue the reasonableness issue in the Tribunal and invite them to lodge an application. If they refuse, and they file in court, you can then ask the court to transfer this to the tribunal, which will happen.
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