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Coin Change: Parking meters need to be altered

Legal disputes possible if parking meters not altered before major coin change

Many New Zealand towns and cities may run into problems next year if parking meters are unable to accept the coming new coins, the New Zealand Parking Association said today.

Parking organisations should have already started planning for the coin changes next year, association spokesperson Andrew Yovich said.

All the country’s parking meters will need to be altered by July next year when the 50 cent, 20 cent and 10 cent coins are replaced.

``For meters unable to accept both new and old coins this will result in meters not accepting legal tender making it difficult to enforce,’’ Waite said..

``There may be legal ramifications associated with the coin change if meters can not accept legal tender. It is critical that responsible operators ensure they have a strategy in place to deal with the changes.’’

The NZPA have advised that at this stage, most machine manufacturers have not committed to costs of the upgrades until the sample coins are released in September or October this year.

A number of older style meters may prove uneconomical to modify leaving operators to foot the bill for their replacement.

Cash Handling Systems Ltd (CHS) will be involved in the coin change with assistance being given to vending, gaming, banking, retail and parking sectors.

Richard Oliver, the CHS manager for the coin change project, says parking machine operators should begin planning early for the changeover to ensure any disruption to their business is kept to a minimum.

Some meters are capable of accepting both the old and the new coins simultaneously which will prove to be of huge benefit to operators. Such meters should be reprogrammed early next year and will be ready for the new coins first release in due in July 2006.

However for meters unable to accept both new and old coins this will result in meters not accepting legal tender making it difficult to enforce.

Over a million parking fines are issued in New Zealand every year by local authorities, NZPA estimates.


Copyright 2005 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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