Queenstown parking enforcement u-turns on $60 u-turn ticket

by Lauren Pattemore - May 22, 2024

After originally issuing and rejecting the waiver request of a $60 parking ticket, the Queenstown Lakes District Council has changed its tune today.

The waiver officer has now agreed the fine, issued to a motorist who stopped on a broken yellow line on Camp Street in Queenstown's CBD for 13 seconds, should not have been issued.

The driver spoke to Crux yesterday and says they had been waiting to complete a u-turn. Consumer NZ called the ticketing "unfair", whilst acknowledging the council was within the law.

The email to the motorist from council's waiver officer sent at 8.40am this morning (May 22) shows a potential for behaviour change in how tickets are issued.

"We will speak to our issuing team and review how infringements are issued, to avoid any circumstances like this in the future," the email from the regulatory support team says. 

The incident was caught on CCTV and the fine sent earlier this month. The driver made a request via the council's online portal for the fine to be waived, outlining he'd been waiting for a safe time to complete a u-turn.

Right before publication of yesterday's (May 21) story, the council came back, rejecting the request.

"Whilst we appreciate your comments below your request has not outlined an exceptional circumstance to surpass the nature of these areas," the rejection email says. 

The motorist pushed back, telling council in a return email he would not "reward an overzealous camera operator's opportunistic snap".

"Would you prefer that I stopped in the middle of the road to let six people in and out of my car with their shopping? I have seen this on many occasions.

"I would understand a few minutes of being parked, especially if I'd put the vehicle into park and got out, but you cannot charge $60 for the privilege of making a manouvre at a slow and careful speed so as to avoid running someone over."

Crux's story reporting on the ticket also attracted comment from others when shared via Facebook. 

"I used to deliver bread in Queenstown. My run started at 2am and I had usually completed all deliveries in the Queenstown centre well before 4am. And if I spent even a moment in broken yellow lines I would get a fine." 

"I also got a $60 ticket three months ago for stoping less than n a minute without getting out of the car."

"Absolutely money grabbing. I have avoided central Queenstown...like many others because of the way it's policed. Retailers should kick up as people are going elsewhere."

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux