Home > Media > Sean Plunkett’s parking tickets…

Sean Plunkett’s parking tickets…

That is hardly surprising given that Edwards and Callingham have a rather last-century view of the media interview as a battle of egos rather than a forum for the extraction and dissemination of information important to the public. Their approach seems to be that it doesn’t matter if you answer the questions as long as you win the interview.

If you are happy for your rates to pay for our mayor to take that approach then the four grand has been well spent. I am not, but am even more disturbed that our mayor burned precious fossil fuel flying to another city for the training when any number of media trainers here could have done the job as well if not better.

Still, the non-rates dollar from parking fines might have paid for the trip if this correspondence between a friend and CitiOperations manager Stavros Michael is anything to go by:

“Dear Stavros, I would be grateful for your advice. I parked outside Parliament today to go to a good friend’s funeral at Old St Paul’s. The funeral was packed and overran as there was 12 speeches. On returning to the car I see two parking tickets. These are still joined together, are for apparently the same offence as per the writing on the ticket. Printed 2mins apart. How can this be? Kind regards

“Ticket One: time 13.49; Offence: Displaying a pay and display receipt ticket indicating time expired for more than 1 hour but less than 2 hrs

“Ticket Two: time 13.51; Parking in excess of the maximum meter time indicated on the meter for more than 1 hour but not more than 2 hours.”

A reasonable and respectful letter I thought. It wasn’t long before my friend got a reply from the champion of Wellington’s parking wardens, Mr Michael.

“Thanks for your inquiry. The parking regulations of the city specify parking time limits (ie P30 or P60 or P120) in order to engineer an appropriate turnover of vehicles per parking space which in turn aids the various economic and accessibility objectives of our Parking Policy. In addition the parking regulations specify the value of the car parking space through a set of fees per hour etc. Revenue from this area offsets the level of funding required to maintain a transport network and lessens the burden on ratepayers.
“So in effect your tickets were for:

“Breaching the time limits (ie denied other potential users the space) and,

“Breaching your obligation to pay for the space occupation.

“The level of fines is defined through national legislation and our parking enforcement policy works within those penalty grades.

“I am sure that the overstay on the car park was caused by the funeral process. However, a parking warden would have no way of knowing that and they must apply the remedies required by the regulations consistently and within the rules of the policy. I trust that this clarifies the matter for you.”

I don’t think my friend was overly impressed by this, which is why he sent the correspondence to me. Perhaps the council needs a new bylaw to specify how long a funeral should be or, heaven forbid, make consideration for mourners who travel by car by designating more parking near to churches and other venues where such events are held.

I wonder how Brian Edwards would spin that one.

What – another Dom Post piece having a go at Celia Wade-Brown?! Say it ain’t so…!

So basically, Mr Plunket, what you’re telling us is that for the FIRST TIME EVER, a politician has recieved media training?!

And it’s never, ever happened in the past?!

Because if that is true, then everything we’ve heard about MPs and other elected representatives receiving media training must, ipso facto, be false?!

That, in itself, would be a nationwide story!!

Or, the simpler explanation is that this is yet another Dominion Post beat-up on Ms Wade-Brown?

And an even simpler explanation? That Mr Plunkett is pissed off with his parking fines, and has decided to exploit column-space in the Dom Post to vent his spleen.

Bad form, Sean.

To be honest, Plunkett’s piece is not all that well written. It comes across as a bit of a whinge that he’s been ticketed by the Council. He’s made passing reference to Ms Wade-Brown receiving media training – *yawn* – which in itself is pretty pointless. Every other politician since Satan said “vote for me and you’ll ALL get an apple!” has used media training at one time or another. It’s not much different to managers receiving management training; retail staff receiving retail training; waiting and bar staff receiving hospitality training; etc, etc.

Plunkett’s column in this instance is fairly amateurish stuff.

The only reason that the Post published this, I suspect, is because it targets Celia Wade-Brown.

Just remember, Dominion Post,  that this is the age of the internet. This little campaign-thing that you folks have going will become obvious for what it is – a vendetta.

And Sean – just pay your bloody tickets, mate. It’s not the Mayor’s fault where you parked your car.
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Update:

Brian Edwards responds.

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