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Longer arm of the law collects more fines

19 October 2006

Longer arm of the law collects more fines

Tougher measures to collect unpaid fines at international airports have seen six people intercepted and more than $37,000 netted since the 'go live' of the Pay or Stay campaign on September 28th, Courts Minister Rick Barker announced today.

"With enhanced data matching powers the gate is effectively being closed on fines evaders and people who owe reparation money to victims of crime," said Rick Barker.

"Of the six people intercepted at international airports, three were able to continue their travel plans - including one person returning to New Zealand from overseas - because they belatedly took action to pay up on the day.

"The three other people were arrested and bailed until payments were secured by the Collections Unit of the Ministry of Justice.

"All up the six people intercepted have paid more than $17,000 in fines and reparation.

"In addition to money directly connected to interceptions at the border, there has been a surge in calls to the 0800 PAYORSTAY number (0800 729 677) and more than $20,000 has been netted. That figure will keep on rising.

"The results since the Pay or Stay message was launched are extremely gratifying. No one should be in any doubt now that fines and reparation orders will not go away.

"The long arm of the law is now a lot longer. Tougher measures are in place to trace people until unpaid fines and reparation are paid, so the course of action to take is to pay fines early. It's that simple".

More information on Pay or Stay is available at www.payorstay.govt.nz

ENDS


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