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Christchurch City Council, Justice Ministry sign memorandum

3 December 2004

Christchurch City Council and the Ministry of Justice have a new information-sharing and cooperation agreement which will help the organisations to more efficiently administer and collect fines originating from Council operations.

Council Chief Executive Lesley McTurk and Belinda Clark, the Secretary for Justice, signed a memorandum of understanding at the City Council offices in Tuam Street on Friday, 3 December.

“In the last few years there has been a significant improvement in the relationship,” Dr McTurk says. “For the Council it’s meant a substantial increase in the amount of fines recoveries and that is pleasing.  With this memorandum we hope that we can continue to improve our relationship.”

“This is the tenth Memorandum we have signed with major city councils around New Zealand’, says Belinda Clark. ”Working in partnership with local councils to achieve early payment of infringement fines benefits both parties to the relationship and the community as a whole, by promoting law-abiding behaviour.”

The majority of City Council infringement notices which end up in the Courts system come from parking tickets. Other areas of Council operations which can also end up as court fines are animal control and minor breaches of the Resource Management Act and City Plan.

Don Munro, the transport and city streets manager, says the new agreement will ensure regular discussions between the organisations so that each understands its responsibilities and ideas for improvement and innovation are being developed and put into effect.

In the year to 30 June 2004, the City Council received $2.29 million of outstanding fines through the courts. In the year to 30 June 2003, the figure was $1.45m.

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