Parking fines and infringements 

Who makes the parking rules?

The rules for parking on public land are mostly made at a national level and can be found in:

Some specific parking rules may also be made at a local level by local authorities, for example, a local authority can restrict parking in certain areas as long as they display appropriate signs. The local rules can be found in council bylaws.

Rules relating to parking on private property (such as private car parks and shop car parks) are made by the property owners. Some of the major car parking companies are signed up to a voluntary Code of Practice for Parking Enforcement on Private Land. The code sets out how those companies should enforce their parking rules.

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When can I be issued with a parking infringement notice or fine?

You can be issued an infringement notice if you park illegally on public land, or in breach of what a parking sign says. In some circumstances your vehicle can also be towed away, for example, if it is obstructing traffic. This includes if you park on the road, directly in front of someone’s driveway so that they cannot use the driveway to enter or leave their property. For more information see our Clamping and towing page.

You could also be issued an infringement notice if a police officer or parking enforcement officer sees that your registration or warrant of fitness sticker is out of date.

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Who can issue me with a parking infringement or fine?

Only a police officer or parking enforcement officer can issue you with a parking infringement notice or authorise the towing of your car from public property.

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When can a private land owner or car park operator issue me with a fine or tow my car?

If you park in a private car park then any signs or information about parking provided by the owner or operator of the car park form a contract between you and the owner/operator.

By parking in the car park you are agreeing to the terms of the contract and you can be issued with a breach notice if you don’t follow the terms of the contract. This might include their right to tow or clamp your vehicle or issue you with a breach notice.

The breach notice should tell you why you have received the breach notice, how much they require you to pay for being in breach, how long you have in which to pay this amount and what will happen if you don’t pay by the due date. If you don’t pay on time, it may go to court for enforcement.

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What happens when I get a parking infringement notice?

For infringement notices issued by local authorities or the Police there are two stages, an infringement stage and a court stage. Both stages are described in detail on our Fines and infringement fees page.

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How do I dispute a parking infringement or breach notice?

You will need to dispute the notice before the deadline given on the notice. You can do this by contacting the authority (if you were parked on public land) or car park operator (if you were parked in a private car park).

You can read about how to dispute a parking infringement on our Fines and infringement fees page.
Once an unpaid infringement or breach notice goes to court it is generally too late to dispute it, however there are some grounds on which you can do so.

If your vehicle has been wheel-clamped or towed away, visit our Clamping and towing page for more information.

You can contact your local CAB for assistance.

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Is it legal to park on the footpath or in front of my own driveway?

It is not legal to park a vehicle on the footpath or in front of any vehicle entrance (even if it is your own). The Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 prohibits this. However, you are allowed to park a cycle, mobility device, or "wheeled recreational device" on the footpath as long as it is not in the way of other users of the footpath and there is no sign that says otherwise.

You can read more about where (and how) you must not park or stop your vehicle in the official New Zealand Road Code.

If you do park your car illegally you risk being served an infringement notice by your local Council. The Council could also have your vehicle towed, especially if it is parked in a way which is causing a major problem or safety hazard.

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I sold my car six months ago and I am getting new parking and infringement notices. Do I have to pay them?

If you are getting infringement notices for a vehicle that you have sold, it probably means that the change of ownership procedure was not completed.

If you sell your car and the change of ownership procedure is not completed, you can be held liable for the new owner’s infringement notices, including speeding fines.   

If you are sure the change of ownership was completed, contact the NZ Transport Authority (NZTA) on 0800 108 809.