Appealing a parking ticket

A brief summary of your legal rights is outlined on the reverse of the infringement notice. Read it carefully together with the following information to find out if you would benefit from appealing.

Considering an appeal

Nelson City Council seeks to be fair in relation to infringement offences and will consider matters that you raise with us about the circumstances in which the infringement notice was issued. In some cases, the council may choose not to pursue the infringement any further.

You might want to write in if:

  • You had a medical emergency that prevented you from removing your vehicle
  • Your vehicle was broken down and you could not move it
  • Your vehicle was stolen
  • You were detained by the police

 Note: supporting documentation is required for all reasons above.

You would have very little reason to write in if:

  • You lost track of time or the reason why you parked in a particular place took longer than you expected, e.g. hair appointment
  • You did not see the sign
  • You did not understand the parking sign
  • You have a permit but were not displaying it at the time or it was not whitelisted on our enforcement system (requires proof)
  • You were unable to pay using the app on your phone – payWave and cash is always available
  • You have a permit but were not displaying it at the time (requires proof)
  • You went to get change for the pay and display machine (you are only entitled to five minutes for this)
  • Your pay and display permit was not displayed correctly before leaving your vehicle (requires proof)
  • You were picking up or dropping off a passenger
  • Other vehicles were parked illegally or inconsiderately

Include your details

Please always remember to include your full name, date of birth and residential address when writing to council about parking infringements.

Explanation not accepted by Nelson City Council

If you've written to us to request a review, and the outcome is that Nelson City hasn't accepted your written explanation, the following options are available to you:

1. Pay the infringement fee without any additional charges.
  • If you accept that you are guilty and pay the infringement fee before the notice is lodged at court, no further action or additional court administration costs will be incurred.
2. Send a written submission to the district court.
  • Sending a written submission means that you do not appear in court.
  • This option is the only one available if you wish to plead guilty but feel you have good reasons that may excuse you.
  • Your written submission and any previous correspondence you may have sent to Council will be forwarded to the court on your behalf. If you have additional supporting evidence, include it with your request for a submission hearing.

If you have additional supporting evidence, include it with your request for a submission hearing.

You may forward additional information to the District Court once the matter has been set down if you prefer.

Justices of the peace will consider your submission in chambers and you will be notified of their decision by mail.

Only the person in possession of the vehicle may request a written submission.

3. Appear in court for a defended hearing.
  • A defended hearing is when you believe you are not guilty.
  • The hearing requires you to appear at court at 10.00am on the specified day.
  • The court clerk will read out the defendants' names and when your name is called you will be asked to make your plea. 
  • Should you plead “guilty” the matter will be finalised on the day. However if you pleaded “not guilty” your case will be set for another date and you will be notified of the hearing date.

If you have any witnesses that you want to appear on your behalf, please make sure they are at court on the defended hearing day.

Please note: Only the person responsible for the infringement can enter a plea.

Hearing requests for both options must be sent to Nelson City Council by the due date.

At the defended hearing, Justices of the Peace will consider what you and Nelson City's prosecutor and witness (usually the Parking Officer who issued the infringement notice) have to say before making a decision. If you have a witness or witnesses that you want to appear on your behalf please make sure they are at court on the day.

If you request this option you will be served with a notice of hearing, giving full details of when you are required to appear in court.


If you plead guilty or are found guilty of the offence, the court may order you to pay the fine and any other costs ordered by the court.