A Balclutha retiree is calling foul of a parking enforcement company’s demands he proves he is a ‘‘genuine customer’’ while challenging a parking ticket.

Last week, Mountain Scene reported Queenstowner Greg Dorn was issued a ticket by Parking Enforcement Services (PES), a division of Wilson Parking New Zealand Ltd, while driving through Queenstown Central.

Subsequently, Graham Johnston contacted Scene, having been issued an $85 infringement notice on December 21 after visiting the Frankton shopping centre twice — once in the morning and again in the afternoon, going to and from Arrowtown between times.

Johnston says he was ‘‘shocked’’ to find the notice on his car — and even more so after appealing the fine when PES requested he ‘‘verify that you are a genuine customer’’ and send proof of purchase such as ‘‘a shopping receipt, or transaction record and we will further consider your appeal’’.

‘‘I really thought, ‘like to hell with that’ … but then I thought I’d [appeal] it one more time and if they reject it this time then they can take me to court,’’ he says.

A closer inspection of the ‘chalk time’ photos taken by the company reveals Johnston’s car was snapped while driving through the shopping
centre — not parked — at 11.14am, and then again when parked in the afternoon at 3.25pm and at 3.42pm when the breach notice was issued.

Parking signs at the shopping centre state a time limit of 180 minutes, that it is customer carparking and enforcement applies.

There’s no mention of a stand-down period between exiting the centre and returning.

This week, following inquiries from Scene, PES contacted Johnston to waive the breach notice, stating it investigated and found the ticket was ‘‘issued incorrectly’’.

‘‘This has been addressed with our staff and we have apologised directly to Mr Johnston,’’ a company spokesman says.

Johnston says he’s ‘‘quite relieved’’ by that.

‘‘I was so angry at the time, it was totally unnecessary.’’

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