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Pay your fine or lose your toy

20 February 2006
Media Statement

Pay your fine or lose your toy

Minister for Courts Rick Barker warned people with unpaid fines that they will feel the consequences of their inaction as the Ministry of Justice begins a nationwide field enforcement campaign today, with a focus on men and their 'toys' - their cars.

"Last year 330 cars were clamped or seized in one month of intensive enforcement action and we are looking at the same again over the next four weeks. My warning to people with unpaid fines is pay up or lose your toy," said Rick Barker.

"Offences relating to motor vehicles make up the largest percentage of the fines imposed, and men are by far the main offenders. This enforcement campaign aims to hit them where it hurts, by taking their prized possession.

"The Ministry can take your car, seize your property or take money from your salary and all you need to do to stop this is pay now. It's as simple as that. The only way to make your fines go away is to pay.

As at 31 January 2006 $671.7 million was owed in fines by 482,939 people. Of this amount $366.7 million was overdue for payment.

Men between the ages of 20 and 30 owe $213.2 million nationally and these men's attitudes to their fines range from defiance to forgetfulness and they hope that by ignoring the problem it will go away.

"If you've got a fine, you've broken the law and the Ministry will use all its powers to collect that fine. For the next month they are out on a street near you, so I suggest you call 0800 4 FINES and pay your fine now.


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