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Numbers up for bogus Christian ticket promoters

MEDIA RELEASE

23 January 2003

Numbers (Chapter 32: verse 23) up for
bogus Christian ticket promoters

Auckland City Council is referring to the Bible to send a warning to a Christian group, or individual, promoting their faith by putting look-alike parking tickets on cars.

Several hundred “Infringement Notice” tickets carrying a Christian message on the back, have appeared under car windscreen wipers in Mt Albert and around the central city. They closely resemble the council’s tickets.

Auckland City’s parking services manager, Wes Hogman, says the bogus tickets are a nuisance and illegally use of the Auckland City logo.

Mr Hogman says the Christian group, or individual, should refer the to the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 32: verse 23 which states: “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

The two-colour tickets have a message about breaking the law (if it were a real ticket) and how grateful the motorist would be if someone paid their fine. The message then goes on to talk about breaking God’s Law and that “someone had stepped in and paid your fine 2000 years ago”.

Mr Hogman says the tickets are a very good copy of genuine tickets, but they have a bogus private bag address – 98765 Wellesley St, Auckland 1234 – and suggest that cheques should be payable to Imagine City Council.

“A genuine ticket will have the parking officer’s signature, the registration of the vehicle, and the nature of the offence clearly spelt out,” says Mr Hogman.

“Many people don’t read the detail, they just post off a cheque for the amount and it is possible some people may have unwittingly done this.”

Mr Hogman says the council has systems in place to detect the bogus tickets – the offence number would immediately flag a problem – but the council then has to go to the trouble of returning the cheque.

“I appreciate the group, or individual, are simply trying an innovative way to get their message across, but this is creating quite a bit of nuisance value for the council and the public.

“If they stop immediately the council will – in a spirit of Christian compassion – forgive the bogus ticket trespassers for their sins.”

ENDS

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