Parking Tips

Common sense usually prevails when it comes to avoiding a parking ticket or being towed away. Here’s a quick checklist to help you avoid a parking infringement: 

  • Always read and obey road signs
  • Do not stop or park on broken yellow lines, clearways, bus stops, taxi stands or other restricted parking areas
  • Do not park in goods service vehicle loading zones if you are in a private vehicle
  • Remember to read all signs carefully when parking at events, special restrictions may apply
  • Always follow operating directions on pay and display meters
  • Be aware that some parking spaces may change to other restrictions such as clearways and no stopping areas. Always check the parking signs

For specific parking information about a city or town please refer to information from local authorities.

Parking enforcement – frequently asked questions        

Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to parking enforcement. We often get asked the same questions, and so we thought it might be helpful to provide informed answers on some common parking enforcement topics.

Q: Aren't parking enforcement officers supposed to give 'a few minutes grace' before issuing an infringement notice?

A: In our experience, most councils usually allow a grace period for parking time offences before issuing an infringement. However, for offences such as parking on broken yellow lines, in mobility spaces, clearways and loading zones, or over vehicle entrances, infringement notices can be issued immediately.

Contrary to popular thought, you are not - and never have been - permitted to stop for 'a few minutes' other than to set down or pick up passengers or load and unload goods (in the absence of any loading restrictions).

A traffic warden or parking attendant may observe a vehicle for a few minutes to see if any such activity is going on before issuing a parking infringement, but there is an increasing trend to issue the infringement as soon as an illegally parked vehicle is seen. If you have been loading or unloading, it is incumbent on the driver to produce evidence to that effect. There is no grace period.

Q: Can parking enforcement officers issue infringement notices for vehicle registration offences? 

A: Parking enforcement officers can issue infringement notices for expired warrants and vehicle licences. It is good practice for people to check their warrant and licence labels as failure to do so and not receiving a reminder does not negate the offence should you be caught driving a vehicle with an expired warrant and/or licence.

Q: Why do we need parking enforcement officers?

A: Parking enforcement officers patrol the regions’ roads to promote: 

  1. Road safety
  2. Equitable turnover of kerbside and off-street parking spaces
  3. Protection of assets
  4. Public information and education 

Q: What happens if I stick a pay-and-display ticket on the windscreen and it falls, face down, on the dashboard before I return to my vehicle?

A: You will get a parking infringement! You are under an obligation to both ‘pay’ and ‘display’ - you are required to place the ticket, face up, on the dash board in such a position that it can be clearly seen by the enforcement officer.

Q: Can the NZPA help me with a complaint I have regarding a parking issue?

A: We are not set up to deal with parking complaints from the general public, nor are we a regulatory body, so unfortunately, we will not able to help with your query. We suggest that you contact the local authority where the parking matter occurred.

Q: Who else can I contact for help with a parking issue?

A: If you have received an infringement notice when parking on-street and you wish to appeal the infringement, you should write to the address detailed on the infringement, within 28 days. If your initial appeal is rejected and you wish to continue to pursue the matter, you can then request to have the matter heard in court by a Justice of the Peace. An infringement notice from a local authority does not carry a conviction.

In a car park operated by a private company, for example a shopping centre, a rail company, or other car park intended for use by the public, the land is private and if you wish to appeal the infringement, you will need to find out who has issued the infringement and what that company’s appeals process is.

You may need to phone the company in order to do this, alternatively details of how to appeal may be found on the back of the infringement, and/or in paperwork the company has sent you. It may also be worth writing to the company/individuals that own the piece of land (who may have contracted out the operation of enforcing the parking). Unlike on-street parking, there are no regulations governing off-street parking enforcement when it is carried out on private land.

Q: Where would I find a copy of my local bylaws?

A: Most local authorities have a website and the bylaws are displayed here, or they can be found at any library or council offices.

Q: Are parking enforcement officers on commission and is there a quota system for infringements?

A: No, and there are no quotas, but just like all workers, parking enforcement officers are expected to do a fair day’s work.

Q: How do I become a parking enforcement officer?

A: Contact the HR department of your local authority and find out when the next intake of officers is.

Q: Can you recommend a company that offers parking related services/products?

See our Suppliers Directory which lists NZPA members that offer parking equipment, consultation and services. 

Please note that the NZPA does not endorse any particular supplier and we are not responsible for the products or service a company delivers.


The information provided is given in good faith and is based on experience and practice. However, it is given purely for the initial guidance of the reader and does not reflect a current legal opinion. Furthermore, the New Zealand Parking Association will not accept any liability or responsibility for the contents or accuracy or for any action taken as a result of any information provided within this website.