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$3.9 million comes in from name and shame

$3.9 million comes in from name and shame

This year's Justice Ministry’s 'Name and Shame' campaign resulted in nearly twice as many overdue fines being paid in full or put under payment by installments than last year's campaign.

Courts Minister Rick Barker says $3.9 million was collected ($2.1 mil in 2003) and credits the two-fold increase to the new collections contact centres and extensive media coverage given to the campaign.

"Congrats to all these people who faced up to the issue, whether they rang to get their name of the list to be published in newspapers or just felt it was wise to make contact. They can now move on, with a lighter burden this Christmas holiday.

"There's good news for those owed reparations, the campaign targeted overdue reparations for the first time and this enabled payment arrangements or enforcement for $578,200 of overdue reparation," he said.

Rick Barker pointed out though that some people didn't wise-up and have either had their cars seized, been summoned to appear before a judge, or are now the subject of a warrant to arrest.

New information has come through on around 17.25 per cent of those whose names were published and the campaign triggered calls and payments from others who weren't on the list to be named but wanted to get their fines sorted out.

During the course of the Name and Shame campaign, the 0800 4 FINES number received 21,000 calls resulting in around 3145 commitments to pay, worth an average $855 each.

"The message that it will not get better, but worse the longer they ignore it, is getting through. I urge people to make contact to sort out payment sooner rather than later.

"We will continue to run this type of campaign to get the amount of overdue fines and reparations down.

"The government is also committed to developing a new instant fine model to rebuild the infringement system from the ground up and has called for submissions on how to improve it with a view to making New Zealand's infringement system more effective, simple, and fair," he said.

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