This is a vexed chapter in our law.
It's not easy because there are differences between public and private property, there are different rules for fines enforcement agencies and towies have therir own set of rules.
The legal definition of a cow includes a car! Boston Legal could not have done it better. Three sound arguments why? Both words start with C. Both have three letters. Cows and cars both move. This is why we have lawyers.
If you park your car on private property it can it be towed away. This is an ancient doctrine of law that lawyers call "distress damage feasant". It was originally about cows, not cars, and thundered that if a neighbour's cow wanders on to your land you can keep it until any damage has been paid.
This doctrine also applies to the cricket ball the next door kids hit through your window. Another C word which cleverly extends the doctrine.
But New Zealand courts have always been clear that the right to detain a motor vehicle does not apply where the owner is present and requests the release of the chattel. "Request" is a dainty legal term. You can imagine the exchanges at the scene. The rationale for this exception is that to allow the vehicle to continue to be detained in those circumstances would be to lead to breaches of the peace and personal injury to the trespasser. New Zealand
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