Police now hassling Uber passengers as they continue their commercial jihad on behalf of cab companies

The police have involved themselves very prominently in a civil dispute between Uber and other cab companies and are now shaking down passengers as they continue their jihad against Uber on behalf of cab companies.

Auckland police are questioning Uber passengers in their crack-down on the driver-on-demand system.

Holly, a 26-year-old woman who did not want her surname used, said she was in an Uber car at Auckland’s ferry terminal on Saturday.

A police officer in an unmarked police car stopped the car and questioned her telling the driver to stay away while she was grilled, she said. Holly said the officer pulled her aside and asked how she ordered the vehicle and whether they had agreed a set price before the journey.

When she said “it (the Uber app) tells me at the end”, the officer turned his attention to the driver.

Holly said the officer told her that Uber was illegal in New Zealand.

It’s not, but the manner of billing passengers is what has caused contention. Uber operates as a private hire service which means the fare has to be set at the time of booking, rather than using a meter.

Police have confirmed they have stopped several Uber drivers and charged them or issued them infringement notices for using their smartphone app as a meter – a breach that would make them subject to taxi regulations.    

Two drivers are reportedly before the courts on charges.  Several people have reported being in Uber cars stopped by police, including Auckland DJ Tim Phin who posted his experience on Facebook.

Uber spokeswoman Katie Curran said a number of precedents around the world determined that smartphones were not taxi meters.

“Uber believes policy makers in New Zealand could reasonably come to the same conclusion, rather than having this debate played out over a potentially lengthy period which is not in the public interest.” She said one particular police officer had targeted several drivers.

Let’s get this straight…the Police are now hassling responsible customers looking to get home as safely and as cheaply as possible instead of jumping in their cars and driving drunk.

Yay!, go Police on road safety.

Why are the Police even involved in this. Surely it is a civil dispute, there is no public safety issue here, there are no crimes being committed…it is either a vest interest somewhere within the Police with a relative or friend who is an embittered cab owner or it is simply another revenue gathering exercise.

The Police should stop justifying their actions and start focussing on public safety which they spent countless hours telling us all about before the road toll ballooned so alarmingly.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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