Parking special - Fair Go Parking Charter, if the Transport
Minister won't make any rules, Fair Go will!
The thing that annoys us the most about the parking, towing and clamping industry is the rules. There are none, or nearly none. Once you leave the public road, you are almost entirely at the mercy of the conditions imposed by the landowner, and the way they choose to enforce them. Even if you are entirely in the wrong, towing and clamping is a pretty serious intrusion on your property and liberty. We reckon there should be rules.
No rules at all
Council controlled parking is rigorously controlled by law, with minimum standards for signage, parking bay size, even ground conditions.
There is nothing compulsory for private parking outfits.
There is absolutely no legislation or rules or anything covering clamping.
Thankfully, there is a set of rules for towing. The Land Transport Operator Licensing Rule 81001 covers things like the following:
- they must be licensed, and pass a good character test
- they have to carry identification
- animals are prohibited in trucks
- "orderly and civil" behaviour is required
- they must take all reasonable precautions to avoid damage
- they must keep a Register of tows
In our Parking Charter (see below), we're calling for that Rule 81001 to be extended to cover clamping, and we want to see minimum standards imposed on private parking operators too.
Old enemies seeing the light
The most remarkable thing about our parking special is the very positive response we've had from our old adversaries - Wilson Parking, Tournament Parking and the NZ Wheel Clamping Company.
It seems they are finally responding to our many many stories, and making some genuine change for the better. Here's what they are promising to do:
NZ Wheel Clamping
- new Enforcement Code of Practice
- "new emphasis on customer service"
- "taken on board the issues you have previously raised"
- "working on ways to eliminate towing"
- "trialing another form of enforcement"
- grace times in buildings, so you don't pay if you don't find a park
And in fairness to Tournament, complaints to us about them are way down. Director James Brown even told us "you guys do a great job for the public and community."
- towing reduced 70%
- brochure for customers
- Code of Conduct for towing & clamping
Warning from the Minister?
Last year in our "Clampaign" we pressed the previous Transport Saftey Minister to bring in some rules about clamping. He instructed his officials to prepare a report, and the new government has continued that work.
Transport Minister Stephen Joyce has issued what sounds like a warning to us. He says the way the industry regulates itself will influence his decisions on that report.
We look forward to the Minister's response to that report. In the meantime, we've got our own suggestions for what he should do. As part of our Parking Special, we are launching the Fair Go "Parking Charter":
Extend Land Transort Parking Control rule to private parking operators
Minimum standards for signage & signage visibility
Minimum size for parking bays
Adequate lighting (where possible)
Adequate Surface condition
Extend Land Transport Operator Licensing Rule 81001 to clampers
Compulsory Code of Conduct for licenced towies & clampers
Licensing and IDs for clampers
Photographic evidence required if towing (eg for "incorrectly displayed" tickets)
Wilson Parking say they already take photographs for every ticket they issue. We don't think those other requirements will put our parking and towing and clamping friends out of business.
You are responsible for where you park!
We happily acknowledge that parking is a valued service, and that people who wilfully park in the wrong place deserve all they get, but we think you, the customers, deserve better.
Remember - IF IN DOUBT, DON'T PARK!!