Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Proposals get tough on fine dodgers

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

17 September 2008

Proposals get tough on fine dodgers

Getting tough on people who don’t pay their fines is the message from a package of proposals announced today. These measures are in addition to the highly successful collection of fines at airports, and the pay or stay campaigns run by the Ministry of Justice.

“Proposals will be progressively introduced that will make it more difficult to avoid payment” said Mr Barker.

New measures proposed include suspending drivers’ licences for those with overdue vehicle-related fines, and allowing the Court to seize vehicles that are heavily financed or are of low value.

“Vehicle owners will be made responsible for fines incurred in their vehicle regardless of who was driving,” said Mr Barker.

People will be automatically referred back to the courts when fines get to a certain threshold. This will allow a judge to take action to ensure offenders are penalised appropriately and fines do not get to unaffordable levels.

“Currently people seem to think that fines are ‘soft credit’ and they put other priorities ahead of getting them resolved. This is what we intend to change,” said Mr Barker.

This proposal has been agreed in principle to allow the release of information about overdue fines and reparation to credit agencies.

The Ministry of Justice will work closely with the Privacy Commissioner to determine the best way to progress these proposals.

Under these proposals priority will also be given to fines and reparations in cases where the creditor had the ability to know the person’s debts before extending credit.

“If you knew your fines might affect your ability to put a new TV on hire purchase, you might be more likely to call up the court and make an arrangement to pay” said Mr Barker.

“To avoid all these measures, people just need contact the Court to pay, request to enter into a time to pay arrangement or request to have their circumstances considered by a judge. Avoidance is not an option.

Other changes will see offenders whose sentence could have been influenced by offering to pay reparation, and then failed to do so, brought back to court for the judge to reconsider sentencing.

These moves follow a review of the current infringement system and are designed to address the 2.7 million infringements issued last year and the outstanding fines.

It is proposed that these measures be included in a Courts and Criminal Matters Bill that the government would look to introduce sometime next year.

Minister Barker said he was again pleased by the level of collaboration between the Transport agencies, NZ Police and Ministry of Justice.

“These proposals show how the work being undertaken by agencies will lead to fewer outstanding fines and safer roads for the community.”

People can contact their local District Court or ring 0800 4 FINES to resolve any outstanding fines or reparation.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election