Private property can be protected under Trespass and Contract Law


Parking on private land without permission from the legal occupier comes under the laws of trespass.

Anyone who enters and parks on privately owned land without the permission of the legal occupier will be trespassing on that given piece of land for the duration they are there.

If the claimant can prove the trespass he is entitled to recover nominal damages, even if he has not suffered any actual loss or damage. If the trespass has caused the claimant actual loss or damage he is entitled to receive an amount which will compensate for that loss. If a claimant can prove that a trespasser has entered and made use of the claimants land without permission, the claimant is lawfully entitled to receive a reasonable level of compensation in the form of damages for that use.


With the correct notices installed (DOBBED signs), by parking a vehicle in a private car park the vehicle driver has entered into a contract with the car park operator (the legal occupier) and have accepted the terms and conditions displayed clearly on the sign at the car park.

A driver who uses the car park in breach of these terms and conditions, e.g. Parking in a no parking area, not displaying a permit, has also accepted the risk of being issued a notice of breach, towed or clamped, as outlined in the terms and conditions.

In contract law, parties are not entitled to impose penalties or fines for breach of contract. However, they can seek “liquidated damages.” Liquidated damages are defined as a reasonable estimate of the damage suffered as a result of the contract being breached.

The use of liquidated damages allows the parties to agree in advance on the damages that will be payable by the driver if they breach the obligations owed to the car park operator under the parking contract.
We have estimated the liquidated damages arising from the breach to be $120 incl GST. This is made up of $23 for average loss of time and revenue due to occupying a private use or customer dedicated car park, $37 for providing, maintaining and monitoring the car park enforcement facility plus a $60 administration charge for the cost of issuing and processing the breach notice and dealing with any subsequent correspondence, debt collection and write-offs. We believe this amount to be fair and reasonable as it has been supported by the Disputes Tribunal. Again, these charges are stated in our terms and conditions.

The Breach Notice (or payment notice) is simply a demand for the payment of liquidated damages arising from a breach of the contract, which under contract law we are entitled to request. This approach has been tested in court and at Disputes Tribunals and has stood up to scrutiny because it meets with the intention of the law. The law seeks to allow private parties to enter into contracts without having to rely on the law for the specifics of the contract.

New Zealand Privacy Act 1993

We operate according to the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993. We obtain the registered vehicle owners details legally. This information is stored inline with the Act and is not disclosed. We will not disclose the site holder′s details to offenders.

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