Pay or Stay this Christmas

  • Rick Barker

Travellers who are planning on heading overseas this Christmas should make sure they have sorted any unpaid fines before they head to the airport, Courts Minister, Rick Barker said today.

"Under the Pay or Stay initiative travellers can be stopped at New Zealand’s international airports if they have unpaid fines and reparation," Mr Barker said.

"Since the Pay or Stay initiative began in September last year, $4.5 million has either been collected or put on arrangement to pay. This sends a strong message that the Courts won’t tolerate people dodging the payment of their fines or reparation to victims and the Labour-led government is committed to making in easier for those who want to pay and harder for those who don't.

"I urge travellers to get their affairs in order and pay any fines or reparation before heading overseas.

"If potential travellers are not able to pay the full amount owing, they should call 0800 4 FINES and enter into an arrangement to make payments.

"Nobody wants to be the Christmas grinch but fines must be paid and the victims of crimes deserve reparation. The time of years is no excuse and fine dodgers must pay the fine or pay the price," Mr Barker said.

Pay or Stay also makes it easier to trace anyone who has not paid their fines and information gathered through Pay or Stay could be used to enforce fines and reparation owed by people failing to comply with court orders.

A total of 121 people have been intercepted on departure or arrival at airports under Pay or Stay. This figure includes; 86 at Auckland airport, 4 at Hamilton, 1 at Palmerston North, 7 at Wellington, 21 at Christchurch, and 2 at Dunedin airport.

If you have any questions in relation to unpaid fines or reparation please call 0800 4 FINES