Capital Row Over Parking Charges


The gloves are off in Wellington over Council plans to make Wellington the most expensive city in New Zealand to park in.
The Council’s draft annual plan includes a proposal to increase by $1 an hour the parking meter rate in the central business district and to introduce paid parking in the central business district on weekday evenings.
There are presently three parking fee areas. These are:

  • $4 per hour
  • $3 per hour
  • $1.50 per hour

The increase plan has triggered strong opposition.
A report to the Council says public transport advocates support the idea - but few others!
The Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce says businesses are strongly opposed.
It says with ample free parking in suburban shopping malls, the proposed fee increase and extension of hours will “damage the vibrancy of the central city. It is too easy for people to choose to shop elsewhere or dine at home.”
The Council report says those who submitted about the plan are on the whole opposed to the proposed changes in car parking.
The proposed extension of parking hours was a particular concern for submitters, who argued that the change would have a significant impact on the hospitality industry and viability of the central city as an entertainment destination.
Submitters also argue that evening parking involved a longer stay than daytime parking.
That, they say, means a 2 hour limit would be problematic for people who are in the middle of an event and that if the rationale for extending parking hours was to encourage people to use public transport, then there needed to be a significant improvement in evening services.

Submitters were a little more sympathetic to the proposed increase in the hourly parking fee but the majority thought that it wasn’t the right time to increase fees given the current economic climate.
Some submitters raised the possibility that fee increases would see people choose other regional retail centres with free parking.
The response was mixed when asked where the Council should find the revenue to meet the shortfall should parking fees and hours remain the same.

Some favoured increasing the downtown levy, others absorbed in general rates, and others through further efficiencies.

Auckland Transport has reduced car parking charges at 2 downtown car parks for 6 months.





  1. rtc says:

    It should perhaps be made clear that the cost of the land used for parking needs to equal the price paid e.g. the vaue of the land if redeveloped, cost of it always being resealed, cleaned etc. Finding ‘efficiencies’ (nice way to say cutting services) isn’t a solution to subsidise parking.

  2. Luke says:

    unfortunately this happening at the same time Greater Wellington council are raising public transport fare, big problem having transport split into 2 very seperate bodies. Luckily this has been sorted out in Auckland. Maybe Wellington could do with having Wellington Transport.
    Although on the other hand if the transport policy environment nationwide stays the same probably little benefit.


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