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Criminal & traffic law

Enforcement powers of police and parking wardens


The main traffic legislation, the Land Transport Act 1998, gives police officers a range of traffic enforcement powers.

Land Transport Act 1998, s 2

Those powers also extend to certain other traffic enforcement staff who come within the definition of “enforcement officer,” the term used by the Land Transport Act meaning:

  • police officers
  • other police employees authorised by the Police Commissioner to be enforcement officers, and other people appointed to the role by the Commissioner (they can be appointed for specific purposes only – for example, the local council transport staff who are appointed as official ticket inspectors with the fare evasion powers in the Land Transport Act (see: “Riding buses and trains without paying: ‘Fare evasion’”)
  • employees of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) appointed as enforcement officers for certain purposes, such as enforcing rules about driving hours and logbooks.

Note: Parking wardens aren’t “enforcement officers”. Parking wardens have a specific set of powers (see below, “Parking wardens: Their powers”).

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Driving and traffic law

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres/

For Community Law’s guide to applying for a limited licence and template application forms: communitylaw.org.nz/resources/legal-letters

Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi’s site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

Website: www.nzta.govt.nz
Phone: 0800 699 000
Email: info@nzta.govt.nz

Search your question on Waka Kotahi’s resources section: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police’s “frequently asked questions” section provides helpful information, particularly the “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section.

Website: www.police.govt.nz/advice-and-services/faqs

New Zealand Government

The New Zealand government website sets out more information about driving fines and penalties, including how to pay for infringement notices.

Website: www.govt.nz/browse/transport/driving-fines-and-penalties

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics, including private parking tickets and the towing and clamping of cars.

Website: www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/help-product-service/cars/parking-clamping-towing

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