Council a bad sport, says ticketed parent

Last updated 13:05 19/11/2012
Kris Dando
TICKET TROUBLE: Alex Papadopoulos’ first reaction to finding she had been ticketed for parking on a grass berm was “are you serious?”. A student, she says the fine is more than she can afford.

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One Porirua resident has found out the hard way that you can't park on grass berms in the city, and she's hopping mad about the ''vindictive'' issuing of parking tickets.

Rangikura School parent Alex Papadopoulos arrived at a sports day at Kura Park in Titahi Bay at lunchtime on November 7 to find there were no angle parks left.

There were no spaces available up and down Kura St, or in nearby streets, so she, like seven other drivers, parked on grass berms near the park's entrance. She concedes there were broken yellow lines on the road.

Ms Papadopoulos returned some time later to find a $40 fine under her windscreen wipers, detailing her failure to comply with a Porirua City Council bylaw.

''They [the council] ruined what was a cool day for a lot of people, it was just vindictive and blatant revenue-collecting at a school event. We weren't damaging the berms and it's the families that will lose because $40 is a lot of money.''

She says the council would not have known cars were parked illegally if someone at the park had not called PCC earlier in the day to ask to have the public toilets unlocked.

''I was told that the parking warden was running from car to car, issuing tickets. It's just really, really bad taste.''

PCC environmental standards manager Jim Sutton says wardens don't just patrol the CBD.

''We keep a close eye on what's happening near schools, parks and in the suburbs ... because of the safety concerns for children and pedestrians and due to damage ... to the berms.''

Mr Sutton says the warden was ''conducting normal duties'' and the eight ticketed cars were either on the berms or broken yellow lines.

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