Thousands mistakenly asked to pay fines

Last updated 15:51 07/01/2013
aaron keown
MISTAKE: Christchurch City Councillor Aaron Keown.

Relevant offers


'Australia has no greater friend' - what Julie Bishop really thinks of New Zealand Greens call on Government to 'call in' major gas-fired power plant under RMA Auckland businessman William Yan set to head back to China for questioning Stacey Kirk: Grim prospects for suicide, as conversation goes quiet Security threats focus of Australian foreign minister's visit Stacey Kirk: tension still boils below the surface but cooler heads prevailing between New Zealand and Fiji Fiji Prime Minister extends personal invitation to banned TV journo Barbara Dreaver Cambridge locals barking mad at MP's response to dog breed law questions Fiji's Frank Bainimarama and Prime Minister John Key 'let bygones be byones' after diplomatic talks Government denies report NZ SAS in combat in Iraq

Thousands of Kiwis have been mistakenly asked to pay fines they do not owe, following a mix-up with the Ministry of Justice's collections database.

A Christchurch City councillor was among nearly 30,000 people to receive a text message this morning, telling them to contact the ministry's 0800 4 FINES number to pay an outstanding fine.

Cr Aaron Keown, who received the text, said the message had startled him as he did not have any fines owing.

"I thought, 'Oh s***, what's gone wrong now?'"

Ministry of Justice legal and operational services deputy secretary Nigel Fyfe said about 29,600 people in the ministry's collections database had received the message.

Fyfe said "human error" meant that some people who had already paid their fines were mistakenly sent the text message.

The extra phone traffic caused by the texts meant the ministry's 0800 number had experienced delays of up to 20 minutes.

Fyfe said the ministry had since sent a follow-up text to all those who received the original message, apologising and telling those who had already paid their fines to ignore the text.

The ministry had looked at how the mistake was able to happen, and made changes to ensure it would not happen again, he said.

People who did have outstanding fines needed to contact the ministry in the next few days, he said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content