'Ridiculous' parking fine: $5.90 a minute

A Dunedin woman has reacted to what she has described as an ''unbelievable'' and ''extraordinary'' $65 parking fine she received at a car park at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Emmeline Kendrick was just 11 minutes late returning to her car at the Wilson Parking site after a visit to the University Plaza Cafe.

''I can see why I was issued an infringement notice, but I cannot see why the amount charged is so extraordinary.

''I will surely not be using this car park again, and have told as many people as possible to warn them of the ridiculous fees charged there,'' she said.

Wilson Parking confirmed yesterday the fine for a ''breach'' of its rules was in place at pay and display parks run by the company across New Zealand.

The amount of the fine was set by the company.

''The breach fee is a reflection of the costs of providing the enforcement services across our national car parks portfolio,'' a spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, the company that runs the stadium, said staff warned people about the fine, ''because we don't want anyone to get pinged like that''.

Mrs Kendrick said she paid for the ticket on December 19 until 12.02pm, while visiting the University Plaza Cafe with her two children.

The infringement notice was issued at 12.13pm.

For the same transgression, a Dunedin City Council fine is $12, or $10 if paid promptly.

''I could not believe that $65 was a justified amount for being 11 minutes over the paid time of my parking ticket.

''I think that this should be reviewed, as it just seems so unbelievable that this could be an agreed fee, and it certainly does not seem a penalty that fits the crime.''

Wilson Parking responded yesterday the ''breach fee'' was clearly displayed at vehicle entry points, pay and display points and throughout the car park.

''The breach fee at all pay and display car parks operated by Wilson Parking in Dunedin is $65. This is consistent with the breach fee for Wilson Parking car parks across New Zealand.''

The fee at pay and display car parks differed from those at access controlled ''pay on exit'' car parks, like Farmers in Great King St and the Moray Pl car park.

The fee at those sites was $30, but the spokeswoman said breach notices were rarely issued, because of the access control.

Mrs Kendrick appealed the fine online, but received a letter from the company it was ''ultimately your responsibility'' to park in accordance with terms and conditions stipulated.

''Therefore, we are unable to waive this breach notice on this occasion.''

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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