A business networking event marked the completion of a vibrant repaint of a central city carpark and installation of 16 security cameras.
The carpark is on the corner of John and Robert Sts, with ground-floor access from Robert St, and the upper two floors (the top one unroofed) through the cinema complex parking area.
WDC property manager Mike Hibbert said the CBD facility was the city's cheapest and most central carpark, but had been underused because of a lack of lighting in some corners and problems with graffiti and vandalism.
The upgrade had transformed the carpark into a safe and attractive facility for inner-city shoppers and workers.
The charge would be only $1 an hour for unlimited hours, with free parking for all-comers on opening day, November 17, along with a sausage sizzle and spot prizes donated by CBD businesses.
The council is also promoting the improved facility with a draw for free parking up until Christmas, from till receipts placed in blue boxes at inner city businesses.
About 70 Whangarei businesspeople attended the networking event which was one of Northland Chamber of Commerce's fortnightly 90-minute after-work Business After 5 meetings, which are hosted by different NCC members each time.