Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

DHB surveys paid parking

The public will soon be able to have their say over a controversial move to user-pays parking at Hawke's Bay Hospital and Napier Health Centre.

A four-week consultation process will begin this month, it was decided during the publicly excluded section of a District Health Board meeting on Wednesday.

"Paid car parking will go out for consultation to staff and the public from mid November for four weeks," said a board spokeswoman.

A preliminary business case for paid parking was presented at the September board meeting, again in the publicly excluded section.

The issue caused controversy and was slated as "revenue gathering" when staff were told about the proposal in June.

A hospital staff member, who did not want to be named, said at the time, "No one's happy.

"This is just revenue gathering and nothing else. We currently have enough problems with people not turning up to clinics. I can imagine we'll have many more missing appointments when they know they'll be paying to park."

Chief operating officer Warrick Frater said at the time supply of secure car parks was an issue.

He raised the possibility of paid parking at the hospital campus in Hastings, the Napier Health Centre site and corporate office sites.

If the plan went ahead, Hawke's Bay would be among the few provincial hospitals in the North Island to charge for the service.

Hospitals in Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, Taranaki and Whanganui have free parking, while Palmerston North and Hamilton charge from $1.50 to a maximum of $8.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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