Massey High neighbours say student parkers are taking over, reports Rowena Orejana.

Susan Hannon looks grimly at all the cars parked in Cityview Place in Massey, a street she shares unhappily with Massey High School students.

The narrow road is made narrower by cars parked on both sides of the street, turning it almost into a one-way lane. "We've become Massey High's carpark," says Ms Hannon.

She says mornings are chaotic. "It's like having a big event here. It's like having a big fair or big carnival except that it is happening every day."

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Ms Hannon spearheaded a petition asking the council to install residents-only parking signs along her street, Mantra Rd and Jammen  Drive. The area is newly developed and construction is still going on. The parking problem also creates issues for contractors.

"One time, the contractor delayed pouring concrete because a car was parked on the driveway," she says. Another contractor had to call in  a tractor  to haul his stuff because his truck could not get through the street.

"It's a danger coming in and out of the street when they are coming in and out. I'm not quite in my lane and the other driver is not quite on his side," says Ms Hannon.

The issue is compounded by some of the children speeding through corners and doing wheelies to impress their friends. Ms Hannon believes the school does not take the problem seriously.

Massey High School principal Bruce Ritchie says the school patrols the area to make sure the students comply with the rules. He says a Waitakere City Council employee told him the problem is not as bad as she'd been led to believe.

"We are very willing to work with residents if our students are doing something wrong. However, they are legally entitled to park there as it is a public road," he says, adding that it could become a human rights issue if the children  were discriminated against based on them being students.

Ms Hannon, however, says the residents are being deprived of their parking and wonders what kind of parking the school provides for its students.

The answer is none. The students have always parked on public roads.

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The matter has already been brought to the attention of Massey Community Board. "While it's not illegal to park there, there are issues that can frustrate the local residents," says board chairman John Riddell, pointing out that restricting the parking only to residents would just transfer the problem elsewhere. "The school and the council should get together to come up with a solution to the parking problem."

Mr Riddell suggests the school be provided with parking space on Massey Domain. "We will ask the council to investigate additional parking solutions."

Mr Ritchie says the school is a significant contributor to the wellbeing of Massey community. "We are very willing to work positively with the community to resolve any issues in an appropriate way."

Until a solution is reached, Ms Hannon can only long for the peace of the school holidays.

Top marks

Massey High School has a multicultural and diverse community of 2300 students. It has built a proud record of academic achievement with very good pass rates in external examinations and with many of its top students gaining national scholarships.