Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Parking clampdown stalls

Councillors baulk at the prospect of unleashing wardens in public reserves.

Complaints have arisen across the Auckland region of commuters monopolising parking spaces.  Photo / Brett Phibbs
Complaints have arisen across the Auckland region of commuters monopolising parking spaces. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A move to stop commuters' free parking in 10 reserves near bus and train stops has stalled after some Auckland Council members saw its enforcement as an invitation to revenue gathering.

The councillors baulked at the prospect of unleashing Auckland Transport's parking wardens in public parks to enforce new time restrictions on parking.

Councillor Arthur Anae said he could not support giving a blanket delegation of power to enforce roads in the parks, where Auckland Transport now had no authority.

"We encourage our young and parents to participate in sport and what happens? They come to these parks, they are ticketed and towed away, because we don't provide sufficient parking spaces around our city parks."

In August, the regional development and operations committee delegated to Auckland Transport the power to establish and enforce parking restrictions in popular central city spots for commuters - Myers Park, Dove-Myer Robinson Park (Parnell Rose Gardens) and Pt Erin Park (Herne Bay).

But at yesterday's committee meeting, council officers said other complaints about commuters depriving park patrons had been made.

One example was at Jamiesons Bay, on the Mahurangi Harbour, where boat trailers were parked all day.

In West Auckland, Opanuku Reserve, in Henderson, Swanson Station Park and Barron Green Park, in Green Bay, were used by commuters.

Auckland Domain, Myers Park and Orakei Basin West Reserve were used by commuters.

No complaints came from South Auckland's park users.

Auckland Transport is the region's road-controlling authority but not in parks. These are the council's responsibility and it has bylaw powers for parking areas, although these were not used by the former councils.

Auckland Council does not employ its own parking wardens and the idea was to use Auckland Transport's, let it cover its costs and, perhaps, share in any profits from fines.

Chris Fletcher said she had supported restrictions in Parnell Rose Gardens after elderly people and visitors to the Korean War Memorial complained there was nowhere for them to park during the day.

Parks, recreation and heritage forum chairwoman Sandra Coney, said she could not see justification for handing over all 4000 parks to the jurisdiction of Auckland Transport.

She was disappointed the extension had not gone to the forum for discussion and comment.

The committee decided this should be done and to consider the move at its December meeting.

- NZ Herald

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