Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Historic first for NZTA after toll road conviction

20 November 2012

NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Regional Office

Historic first for NZTA after toll road conviction

The NZ Transport Agency has successfully prosecuted an Auckland driver who repeatedly refused to pay tolls when using the Northern Gateway Toll Road – the first prosecution of its kind since the road opened almost four years ago.

Robert Masaberg, from the Auckland suburb of Snells Beach, was convicted in the North Shore District Court of 20 charges of failing to pay a toll and ordered to pay a total of $1156.67 in fines, and court and prosecution costs ($800 in fines - $40 for each charge - $130.67 in court costs and $226 in prosecution costs)

Mr Masaberg did not appear to defend the charges, but the court said it accepted NZTA evidence of his repeated non-payment of tolls and ruled that the charges had been proven.

At the end of October, Mr Masaberg owed $5181 in unpaid tolls, unpaid administration fees and additional costs connected with attempts to get him repay his debt.

Celia Patrick, Group Manager of Access and Use – the NZTA’s regulatory group which administers the collection of tolls – says the 20 charges were a sufficient number to send a clear message to others who actively evade making toll payments.

“Their behaviour is unacceptable to the vast majority of drivers who pay their tolls on time – the NZTA is committed to ensuring that the same rules apply to everyone using the toll road.

“Tolls collected on the road help to repay the debt incurred in order to construct the Northern Gateway Toll Road 10 years earlier than would have been possible without tolling. Since it opened in 2009, this section of State Highway 1 has delivered many benefits to drivers in terms of safer travel, time savings, and less wear and tear on vehicles. It is only fair that everyone who enjoys those benefits pays their share for using the highway,” says Ms Patrick.

The Automobile Association says it agreed with the NZTA’s decision to prosecute the driver. .

“Today’s judgment is a timely reminder to drivers and riders who refuse to pay the toll and have accumulated substantial debt, to pay their tolls or face the consequences,” says AA spokesperson Mike Noon. “The AA fully supports the NZTA undertaking further prosecutions to ensure the worst offenders are not able to free-ride, but rather pay their fare share of the costs of using the toll road.”

Ms Patrick says the NZTA now plans to prosecute three other people. One of them owes $3780, and the other two owe smaller amounts - $900 and $500 respectively.

“To do the right thing on behalf of everyone who does pay on time, prosecutions will not only be based on the level of debt but on a driver’s behaviour if they repeatedly evade toll payments regardless of how much they owe.”

Ms Patrick says that since the NZTA began its prosecution process, there has been an increase in the number of people paying tolls before the required 5 day period expires to avoid additional charges, and other drivers are clearing older, historical debt.

During the first three months of the toll road’s current operating year from 1 July, the amount in unpaid tolls and administration fees was $238,000 and $90,000 of this had already been collected by the end of October.

The Northern Gateway Toll Road opened in January 2009, and about 96.5% of drivers pay on time – a compliance rate high compared with other toll roads overseas.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news