Local authorities around New Zealand have identified a disconnect between government legislation introduced in February 2005 and Council bylaws.
In a raft of legislation introduced under the Land Transport Act and mostly sent to local authorities for consultation was a law requiring Councils to erect signage to notify motorists parking illegally on grass berms.
However this law wasn't consulted on and slipped through into local authority legislation.
Since then the City Council has sent infringement notices totalling $3,350 to motorists who have illegally parked on grass berms between the footpath and the carriageway.
Now because the Council should have erected signage on every grass berm in the city, it is writing to the 122 owners of the vehicles at the time advising them of the situation and offering to refund the fines including any Court imposed costs.
It will also cancel infringement notices at present working their way through the system.
If the Council receives a response that the recipient is or was the owner of the vehicle at the time then the motorist will receive a refund.
Environmental Protection Services Manager, Wayne Jameson, says he felt it was only right to tell motorists that, while they were in breach of the Council's bylaw which could be enforced before 2005, they must now be informed by signage erected alongside the grass berm before they can be fined.
The City Council will make the government aware of its legislation and is currently looking at the implication of providing hundreds of signs around the city.