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Operations net over $1 million in unpaid fines

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

28 August 2008

Joint operations net over $1 million in unpaid fines

More than $1 million has either been paid, or put under a payment arrangement, following successful joint operations between the District Court and the NZ Police over the past 12 months.

Courts Minister Rick Barker welcomed the cooperation between Collections staff and the Police, which is sending a clear message that people with outstanding fines or reparation to victims will be found and that they will be made to pay.

The joint operations see roadside checks set up around New Zealand and while Police stop people to check the vehicle, drivers’ licences and alcohol levels, Collections staff simultaneously check for any outstanding fines and reparation that may be owed.

"These joint operations have had excellent results, particularly in the past year, where the two agencies have undertaken a total of 98 combined operations throughout New Zealand," Mr Barker said.

As a result 340 people had paid their fines in full, amounting to over $500,000, 295 people had entered into payment arrangements, totalling $344,000 and 827 vehicles were seized.

"It’s great to see these joint operations having such a positive impact. We intend to continue this approach in the future because it’s proving effective in targeting people that need to pay and who also need to know that the Court is serious about collection.”

The Ministry of Justice and District Courts also work closely with the NZ Customs Service and Immigration to stop people with outstanding fines or reparation as they leave or arrive in New Zealand.

"The message that these joint operations send to the community is that you need to deal with your outstanding fines situation. If you are going to incur fines, you are going to have to pay them. You need to pay or work with Court staff to agree a payment arrangement,” Mr Barker said.

ENDS

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