Drivers of SUVs may face a height barrier designed to ban their hefty vehicles from part of a Remuera car park that is said to be an earthquake risk.

Auckland Transport is considering putting up a height barrier "to limit the size of vehicles using the upper level" of the Clonbern Rd carpark, according to meeting papers.

A sign at the carpark says "No entry for SUVs, vans, utes & commercial vehicles … Maximum weight 2000kg".

Keeping out SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and vans, which are generally taller and heavier than cars, is an attempt to reduce the weight loading on the ailing structure.


Some larger SUVs weigh 2500kg, even without passengers, compared with as little as 1250kg for a late-model Toyota Corolla hatchback. However some SUVs weigh less than 2000kg: for instance a 2018 Toyota Rav 4 2.2 litre diesel all wheel drive has an unladen "kerb" weight of 1635-1660kg, according to the Toyota NZ website.

Numerous repairs have been made to the platform which carries the upper level of the carpark, but problems remain. The car park was built in 1982.

"Various repairs have been undertaken but there is a still an issue with water ingress," an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

New restrictions on the maximum permitted weight on the upper level were introduced in 2014.

"As the weight restriction was not being adhered to, we have recently made the signs more visible to reinforce the need for this weight restriction to be complied with," the spokesman said.

Fines were not being considered, he said.

Desley Simpson, the Auckland Council member for ​Ōrākei, said on Facebook that the signage related to monitoring of the structure "for seismic weakness".

She said she was still waiting for a definition of SUV, but in the meantime urged people to "think 'Remuera tractor'."


Drive a SUV? Please keep off top level of Clonbern Rd carpark in Remuera Will update on progress re development of this carpark later

Posted by Desley Simpson on Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The AT spokesman said the carpark structure is being monitored monthly and an assessment of the load it can safely carry was made this year.

"We must make it clear there is no evidence of structural distress and there is no need to close the carpark."

Several people commented on Simpson's post.

One appealed for height barriers to be installed, saying they were "still seeing big Rovers etc up there and if it is a health and safety issue - especially for people in the carpark below - surely the money would be well spent".

Another said, "I have a [sic] SUV, but would not weigh 2000kg. And where will most of Remuera park their Range Rovers etc."