Peeved at parking penalty

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Angry: Kevan Thiang

A disgruntled driver is urging locals to challenge council parking tickets – if they’ve got good reason.

Kevan Thiang battled Queenstown’s council over a $12 parking fine.

It’s dropped the fine but Malaysian-born Thiang, a Queenstowner for seven years, is angry he won’t get his day in court.

He says the council got it wrong – and he can prove it.

The parking attendant marked the vehicle at 12.10pm when his car was still parked at home.

After a bolshie email exchange, which he shared with Mountain Scene, City Hall reneged and waived the fee, denying him the opportunity to take the issue further.

Thiang thinks the response, and its failure to allow him a day in court, is an admission of wrongdoing.

Queenstown’s council (QLDC) refused to be interviewed.

But an emailed statement from enforcement chief Anthony Hall says: “QLDC reviews every parking waiver request on a case-by-case basis. In these circumstances we decided to waive the $12 infringement fee instead of proceeding to court.”

Thiang says it isn’t about the money but council attitude. “I’m not only disappointed, I am angry.”

He’d hoped a natter with the parking department would resolve the issue instantly.

Instead staff were rude and got on their “high horse,” he says.

A more common sense approach is needed.

“To us it is just nonsense because it was not even 30 minutes. We talked to council nicely but then it actually got quite defensive.”

In an initial email a council staffer says: “I regret to inform you we are not prepared to waive this infringement on this occasion as we have clear evidence your vehicle was over the time limit.”

When Thiang asks to see it and opts for a court hearing the council changes its tune, asking him to send proof.

Thiang says CCTV footage can easily prove his innocence and demands an apology from council.

However, the council staffer refuses and cuts its communication short.

“A court hearing is no longer an available option with the waiver of this infringement,” the email says.

“We are not prepared to spend any more time on this infringement. So this will be my last correspondence on this matter.”

Thiang is still awaiting an apology – but might be waiting a while.

louises@scene.co.nz