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Car dealership prosecution serves as warning

22 June 2004

Car dealership prosecution serves as warning

Auckland City is hoping a recent court prosecution of a car dealership will make other dealers more aware of their legal responsibilities.

Auckland City successfully prosecuted Eastern Motors in Glen Innes under its street-trading bylaw for displaying cars for sale on public land.

The defendants, McShado Limited and Spencer Bird, were fined $300 on each of eight charges. The fines totalled $2,400 and they were instructed to pay an additional $1,040 in costs. Judge Field of the Auckland District Court also granted an injunction against the activity.

Council officers first responded to complaints in 2003. The dealer’s vehicles were displayed for sale on a public footpath and in the Glen Innes railway station carpark. The vehicles restricted public access to the railway parking spaces for the ‘Park and Ride’ service and pedestrian access to the footpath. By using the public space, the dealer also had a commercial advantage over other business owners who were complying with the law.

Eastern Motors were given verbal and written advice that they were in breach of the bylaw, but continued to use public space to display their cars for at least twelve months, up to and including the weekend before their court appearance.

Warren Adler, incident management at Auckland City, says dealers need to understand that public spaces are not areas for commercial use.

“The losers are the city’s pedestrians and commuters. The footpaths and public car parks are designed for them, not for commercial profit making. Eastern Motors obtained an unfair commercial advantage over other dealers who were complying with the law.

“Apparently the defendants did not accept the validity of council’s requests and sought what commercial benefit they could until the very end,” he says.

“Commercial dealers putting vehicles on public land for sale is an ongoing issue in Auckland city. I am hoping this outcome will effectively warn them that it is not acceptable to use public land for that purpose.”


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