In a vox pop of a few business owners, workers and customers at the Town Basin, we asked if they thought it was necessary for Whangarei District Council to install pay machines in the carparks.
The council asked all of us tenants for feedback. I asked all my customers and no one was in favour of it. It's not encouraging people to shop locally. Are they trying to close the businesses? The high rents they charge us surely compensate for the free parking. Any problems with turnover can be fixed by enforcement.
I don't think they should charge for parking. It will make it less attractive to come here. Families like to come down here so why make it harder for them to enjoy the area. Living expenses are high enough as it is.
I think it's a bad idea. The council spent all that time and money making this part of town appealing and now they're sending a message that puts people off wanting to be here longer than an hour. You can't even do that loop walk in an hour.
Why would people come and pay for parking? It's not a shopping area, it's a place to visit. This isn't like a street in town where people spend a short time in each shop.
I thought they were trying to reinvigorate this area. I think it's so stupid to make a decision that could stop people wanting to come here and stay a while. I understand some people might park there all day, but they can do something about that. To charge for parking is counter-productive.