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Criminal & traffic law

Enforcement powers of police and parking wardens

Parking wardens: Their powers

Powers to issue infringement notices (tickets)

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 128E, 139; Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2011, reg 77(2); Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999,
reg 10, Schedule 7

Parking wardens can issue infringement notices – or “tickets” – to enforce parking restrictions, rules for special lanes (such as bus lanes and transit lanes), and a limited number of other offences, such as not having a current warrant of fitness, having an unregistered or unlicensed vehicle, or having bald tyres.

Powers to obtain information from drivers and move vehicles

Land Transport Act 1998, s 128E

As part of enforcing parking restrictions and other traffic rules that come within their role, parking wardens can require you to give them your identifying details and certain other information. If you’re in a vehicle, or seem to be in charge of a vehicle, they can require you to give them your full name, full address and other identifying details or, if you’re not the driver or in charge of the vehicle, to give them any information you’re aware of that would identify the driver or person in charge.

It’s a criminal offence to refuse to give that information, or to give false information. For this you can be fined up to $1,000.

If a parking warden believes on reasonable grounds that your vehicle is obstructing the road or an entrance or that it’s a safety risk or is inconveniencing the public, they can get into your vehicle and move it to a place where it won’t be a traffic hazard, or order you to move it, or authorise someone else (such as a tow-truck operator) to move it.

Note: Parking wardens don’t have any power to arrest people.

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Driving and traffic law

Where to go for more support

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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