Torrent of tickets for 'easy target'

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 08:02 29/01/2014
Isaac Takarangi
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
JUST THE TICKET: Isaac Takarangi with $3200 in Nelson City Council parking fines.

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A Nelson man who has received $4520 worth of tickets since November for failing to have a car warrant or registration says he is being targeted by the city council.

As court proceedings loom and the amount owing increases, life coach, fitness trainer and sickness beneficiary Isaac Takarangi says there must be a more productive way for the council to promote correct vehicle warrants and registration.

Mr Takarangi's registration and warrant lapsed in November 2012 and he had to wait before he could afford the $900 it cost to service his car to meet the warrant requirements.

After receiving his first round of tickets on November 21, Mr Takarangi attempted to explain his financial situation to the council and organised automatic repayments at $20 a week.

"I wasn't treated very well at all. It was like I was talking to a brick wall."

He managed to get to a stage where he could pay back the fines, but one ticket soon turned into 20 in just over two months, he said.

The amount over such a short period seemed ludicrous, depressing and overwhelming, he said.

"They just slammed them on me and my car. They know me. They know my car. I'm an easy target."

Now, he will face court action, a lost licence, and there was no way he was ever going to be able to pay for the tickets with a weekly earning of $200 a week, he said.

It seemed his offending was unfair seeing as it did not compare with the rife unconscientious and drunk driving offenders.

"The council needs a new approach rather than just slamming on fines. It is also so unfair that the fines increase after a period if you do not pay them. I do not see how I will ever be able to get on top of them"

To add insult to injury, he said, he was helping his ex partner move house from Abraham Heights over Christmas and in his attempt to move a different de-registered car to make room for a rubbish container, he received a $440 fine.

The three tickets brought his total number to 23.

The fine was for failing to have a warrant, registration and blocking a pedestrian walkway.

It was unbelievable that he could be "zapped" in such a residential area, he said.

It was clearly signed with a "de-registered" notice, he said.

Any logical person could tell the car generally lived in the driveway and it was only out on the road as a temporary measure because of the skip, he said.

He specifically did not put it on the road because of the de-registration.

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"These council people are clearly not seeing the bigger picture."

Council communications manager Angela Ricker said as parking officers patrolled at random, there was no opportunity for any individual to be targeted.

Parking officers were obliged to issue infringement notices to vehicles they saw were in breach of the rules.

"Anyone who continues to infringe will continue to be ticketed."

Everyone had the right to appeal an infringement notice if they felt it was issued incorrectly, she said.

With reference to the tickets involving the skip, parking officers responded to a complaint from a member of the public about a vehicle blocking a path so they were obliged to act on that complaint.

- Nelson

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