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New Zealand - Parking

There are few parking issues in New Zealand. Even in the busier towns and cities there are adequate parking facilities. Some areas may have residents parking permits in order to ensure that those who live in the area have no trouble parking and these are issued by the local council.

There are a number of regulations regarding parking in New Zealand which must be adhered to. Drivers can only park in the direction of the traffic on their side of the road. This means that you can only park on the left hand side of the road. A driver cannot park on a road with a yellow line at the side. You cannot park where your vehicle may cause an obstruction, too close to the corner of a road, near a roundabout or junction. You cannot park at a taxi rank, bus stop or within 6 metres of a pedestrian crossing. Double parking is not permitted at all and if there are clearly marked signs which state the local parking restrictions then these must be adhered to. Parking is not permitted in cycle lanes, bus lanes or near fire hydrants.

There are a variety of parking signs used in New Zealand and these must be obeyed. Parking signs usually have a red border around them and unless they specify a time when parking is permitted you cannot park there at any time. Most parking restrictions are in place between 8 am and 6 pm most days, although public holidays such as Christmas and Easter also have reduced parking restrictions but these will be clearly marked.

Most cities and towns have a system of issuing parking tickets for drivers who do not obey the regulations. New Zealand has a Transport Act which gives details of offences that can be fined and the fees that can be charged. In most areas the fine will vary according to the length of time that the driver has been parked when using a meter but without a valid payment, although there are flat rates if a driver has parked illegally. Most cities allow a driver to pay a fine online, in person or by post, although the options will be listed on the ticket that has been issued. If your car remains illegally parked for too long then the local authorities have the right to tow it away and you will be liable for all related costs.

If you are issued with a parking ticket but fail to pay within the time period specified (usually 28 days) then you will be sent a reminder notice. If this does not prompt payment then the matter can be referred to the courts and there will be additional charges for extra costs. The driver also has the option to contest the ticket if he/she considers that it has been issued unfairly. This should be done in writing to the office which has issued the ticket and contact details will be printed on it.

Most car parks and other parking areas have sections for disabled drivers. In order to use these sections the driver must have a mobility parking permit. Cars parked without the permit may be towed away. The permits are usually issued by the local council. The permits are not issued to everybody and the applicant must meet the criteria set. The applicant must have difficulty walking and be reliant on mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walking frame or walking sticks. Those who have a temporary disability such as a broken leg may also be able to apply for a temporary permit.

Those who have the mobility parking permit are still not permitted to park on yellow lines, in bus or cycle lanes, at bus stops, taxi ranks or in restricted zones. However, it is possible to use a standard car parking space for longer than the time stated in the car park regulations but the amount of time allowed varies according to the council so it is wise to check in advance how much extra time you will be permitted.

All applications for a mobility parking permit will need to be certified by a medical professional. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the permit is valid and that it is clearly displayed when the car is parked. A fee is payable with the application.

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