Unpaid fines bill $1.4m

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:30 23/01/2013

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People living in Marlborough and Kaikoura owe almost $1.4 million in outstanding fines and reparation payments, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Information obtained by the Marlborough Express under the Official Information Act showed a total of $1,387,000 was owed by people in Marlborough and Kaikoura at November 30 last year, with $170,000 of that overdue.

The Blenheim District Court imposed almost $6.17 million worth of fines and reparation, which could also apply to people from other areas of the country who were passing through or people from Blenheim who have left the area. Of that, almost $2.6 million was overdue.

The oldest outstanding debt for a person living in Marlborough was almost 18 years old, with a fine of $1564 originally imposed in May 1995.

The top 10 largest amounts owed for outstanding fines and reparation for people in Marlborough and Kaikoura totalled almost $287,000, with the top spot going to an outstanding debt of more than $55,000.

The fine was one of four in the top ten issued for fraud, deception and offences against justice procedures. The second highest outstanding debt was more than $50,000, also issued for fraud, deception and related offences.

Blenheim and Kaikoura residents paid off more than $1.5 million in fines and reparations in a year, between December 2011 and November 2012.

New Zealand residents owe more than $581 million in outstanding fines and reparation in New Zealand was more than $581 million, the lowest total debt since September 2004.

Of that, almost $245 million was overdue.

The largest amount owed by a person nationally as of November last year was $1,793,995. Payments were being made toward the balance.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said new measures to improve fines collections included data matching with the IRD and MSD to help locate people refusing to pay fines, as well police power to stop people at the border who had unpaid fines.

Last year, the ministry also introduced a credit check system, which allowed them to tell credit agencies if a potential client had overdue fines or reparation in return for updated contact information on that person.


TOTAL FINES

Total amount owed by people living in Marlborough and Kaikoura - $1,387,000.

Total amount of fines owed by offenders imposed at the Blenheim District Court - $6,168,000.

Total amount of overdue fines owed by offenders imposed at the Blenheim District Court - $2,557,000.

Largest amount owed for outstanding fines and reparation in Marlborough and Kaikoura - $55,795.20

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Total amount of outstanding fines and reparation in New Zealand - $581,356,000.

Total amount of overdue fines and reparation in New Zealand - $244,926,000 

- The Marlborough Express

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