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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 (see below). The various powers explained in the section below, “Police: Their traffic enforcement powers” also apply to those other officers.

“Enforcement officers” include:

    • 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 in this chapter “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

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Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Applying for a limited licence” (guide)

This Plain English guide, plus template application forms and affidavits, will help you apply for a limited licence. It’s available on the Community Law website – www.communitylaw.org.nz

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)


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

The NZTA site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

You can read and download fact sheets and other publications from their site, or you can order hard copies by contacting them, including their fact-sheet on Legal mobile phone use while driving.


NZ Police

Frequently Asked Questions


The “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section of this webpage have Frequently Asked Questions about traffic fines, speeding, demerit points and where you can pay your fines.

Consumer protection

“Parking, towing and clamping”


This Consumer Protection webpage has information about the law covering tow trucks and wheel-clamping on public and private property, and about unreasonable fees in private car parks.

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