Conviction for non-payment of road toll

An Auckland driver has become the first to be convicted for repeated failure to pay to drive along the Northern Gateway Toll Road between Orewa and Puhoi.

Robert Masaberg, from Snells Beach, was convicted in the North Shore District Court of 20 charges of failing to pay a toll and ordered to pay $1156 in fines, court and prosecution costs.

He owes $5181 in unpaid tolls for the Northern Gateway Toll Road, unpaid administration fees and additional costs connected with attempts to get him repay his debt.

Mr Masaberg did not appear to defend the charges, but the court said it accepted NZ Transport Agency evidence of his repeated non-payment of tolls and ruled that the charges had been proven.

NZ Transport Agency spokesman Ewart Barnsley said they would "see how effective yesterday's court decision is" before considering whether to bring further charges against Mr Masaberg.

An NZTA spokeswoman said charges sent a clear message to others who evade making toll payments, and the organisation plans to prosecute three other people - one owing $3780, and the others $900 and $500.

The Automobile Association supported the NZTA's decision to prosecute the driver.

Tolls collected on the Northern Gateway, which opened in January 2009, are used to repay the cost of constructing the road.


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