Council will refund $500K of tickets

Photo: Invercargill City Council
Photo: Invercargill City Council
The Invercargill City Council has fessed up but it is going to take a financial hit of nearly $500,000 in coming clean.

The council said in a release yesterday it had made the decision to refund all parking tickets issued between July 1, 2022 and February 29, 2024 that were "incorrectly issued under the current Parking Control Bylaw".

The council said in a statement that any tickets issued, for failing to activate the parking meter in a metered space will be cancelled and refunded.

The refund covers 12,272 infringement notices worth $40, for a total refund of $490,880.

The parking issue centred on how the first 30 minutes of parking in the city was free after activating a parking meter.

But a court hearing earlier this year ruled the council was not requiring — through its own bylaw — the meters to be activated, to get the free half hour.

Council chief executive Michael Day said in the statement the council had an obligation to the community to ensure bylaws were accurate and enforced correctly.

"As a council it’s important that we take ownership when a mistake has occurred and ensure that we remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

"In this instance, we will be refunding and cancelling a number of parking infringement notices, which have been incorrectly charged," Mr Day said.

He said the council had already started the process of identifying those impacted and would continue to work with the community as it progressed..

"If you believe you have been impacted, please visit the council website for further information."

Any outstanding infringement notices that have not been paid have been automatically cancelled and a letter confirming this has been sent to the to the owner of the vehicle.

The ownership details of a vehicle are only passed on to the council from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi 28 days after an infringement notice has been issued, meaning anyone who has paid a fine within this period will be required to request a refund.

Members of the public who believe they are entitled to a refund are encouraged to visit the council’s website and fill out a refund request.