New Zealand Police has been forced to apologise to tens of thousands of Kiwis wrongly receiving traffic fines after an IT system problem last year.
The problem was caused by an "isolated fault" in its IT systems which meant vehicle transaction data from the NZ Transport Agency was not updated between October and December last year.
This meant upwards of 20,000 traffic infringement notices were issued wrongly, in some cases to people who were fined for vehicles they no longer owned, the force said.
The agency declined to provide further detail on the cause of the glitch.
According to NZ Police national road policing manager, superintendent Carey Griffiths, some people who changed address or surnames during the period last year when the transport agency information wasn't being updated were also incorrectly ticketed.
The wrong ticketing was mainly for speed and red light camera infringements, and Police-issued parking notices.
"Police sincerely apologise to all of those who have been affected by this one-off technical issue, which has now been resolved," Mr Griffiths said.
Police only discovered the issue this week after a person complained about a notice for a vehicle she no longer owned.
Even though the agency is seeking to reassure those incorrectly sent notices that they will either be refunded or will not have to pay the fines, they do not know how many erroneous tickets were issued in total.
The current estimate of wrongly issued notices is 20,000, with the fines ranging from NZ$30 to NZ$630.
"We don't think think it's many more than that, but we don't know the exact number," an NZ Police spokesperson told iTnews.
Police are encouraging members of the public to contact its infringement bureau if they believe they've been wrongly issued with a traffic offence notice.