'Empty carpark' target for wardens
Newtown Market shoppers left with more than just fruit and vegetables at the weekend after returning to their vehicles to find they had been slammed with a $65 parking fine.
The popular market has been running for more than three years at the Newtown School next to Wellington Hospital where the Wilson operated carpark is regularly used by shoppers.
The carpark is traditionally empty on the weekends and market shoppers had never been targeted by parking wardens previously.
Newtown Market organiser Steve Young said he became aware during the day that a parking warden was handing out fines so he began warning shoppers to go back and pay the $2 pay and display fee.
"I wouldn't be surprised if shoppers didn't come back next week after that. If we'd been given some warning we could have explained to people they need to pay from now but instead they just got slapped with a fine.''
Young's frustration has been acknowledged by Wilson management and anyone who received a fine in the carpark on Saturday would have it waived.
After so many years of using the carpark it was frustrating the owners had decided to target market-goers - particularly given many of them are elderly and couldn't afford a steep fine, Young said.
Captial and Coast District Health Board executive director of operations Catherine Epps said Wilson had made the decision to fine the shoppers after receiving feedback from staff that they were having trouble parking in the staff-only area at the weekend.
"As a goodwill gesture all fines received on Saturday will be waived on this occasion. However as of next weekend any vehicle parked in staff parking that does not have an appropriate permit will be fined,'' she said.
"Market users are welcome to park in the pay and display area, where there is a $2 fee for weekend parking.''
The Dominion Post