Squatting on cowboy clamps

The government intends to take stricter measures against wheel clamps after years of indignation about the excessive penalties they entail.

Car wheel blocked by wheel lock due to illegal parking violation

Photo: 123RF

Parking enforcement agencies have so far been able to impose what they want to remove from cars parked on private property with some people being charged up to $ 700.

In March Lyndee Wellington and her partner were wedged for five minutes after parking in an unmarked park opposite the Waitakere library.

"The man threatened us, if we did not give more than $ 200, he would pierce my tires and damage my car just because he demanded money that we did not have."

Things were heated, almost violently, but the police told her they could not help and eventually, after her father joined them, they could negotiate that the clamp would come off.

"He even asked my father for his bank details and my father said:" You do not get my bank details, we are not a family of finances. ""

Before they left, however, the man said that he would send her a $ 200 fine by mail.

"They clearly have my car details and many car details, so I'm afraid to be public, especially in my car, because I do not want them to come back.

"It is scary to know that there are people who ask a lot of money because we are all struggling here in New Zealand.

Some drivers said that a particularly bad place was a parking lot in Henderson, on Sel Peacock Drive.

Today, the Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, said that the government would change the law and set a ceiling for how many people could be charged.

Minister of Civil Protection, Kris Faafoi

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

"We looked at many options, signage, a complete ban, but we wanted to be sure that we had a balance to ensure that smaller, medium-sized companies still had the opportunity to check their parking lots, but also to ensure that to make sure we crack about the behavior of the cowboy we see. & # 39;

Transport minister Phil Twyford said that the amendment to the law would also hold back clues.

"In the past, the police were unable to participate because it was a civil case, but what this legislation will do is specifically charge the police with enforcement.

"Some of these people are real predators, I have no patience with them and it is a long time that we get in and regulate."

The musician from Auckland, Sasha Witten-Hannah, was also the victim of clamorous use outside the Waitakere library, while in 2016 he gave a free concert for NZ Music Month.

He changed his experience into a song.

"It is daylight robbery, I felt completely violated."

He said that the government's amendment to the law was welcome, but that it did not go far enough.

A spokesperson for AA, Mark Stockdale, agreed and said that clamping was one of the most criticized things of his members.

"While the AA would prefer that wheel clamps are prohibited, as in the UK, this is a good first step and will help reduce the worst excesses of wheel clamps.

"However, $ 100 is still disproportionate to the crime and it still does not solve the problem of denying motorists the possibility to dispute a wheel clamp penalty without payment on the spot."

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