A mother at Tauranga Primary School says parents are being treated like "a bunch of 15-year-olds" after the school installed CCTV cameras to stop illegal parking during school pick-ups.
But the principal is defending the surveillance, saying "illegal parking and dangerous driving behaviour" are posing a risk to student safety.
A school newsletter notified parents of the installation of CCTV cameras on 5th and 6th Avenues by Tauranga City Council, along with the traffic infringement fines that parents could be charged.
When the Bay of Plenty Times visited the school around pick-up time, around three cars were parked on the berm behind the kerb.
A parent at the school, who wished to remain anonymous, said she felt "hurt and outraged" by the school's actions. She was stung with a $60 fine for parking behind the kerb last year.
"We're being treated like a bunch of 15-year-olds ... We have to pick our kids up from school so we have to park somewhere."
The mother left her Greerton home at 2.05 pm to ensure she had a park by ther 3pm pick-up.
She said leaving later would mean she'd have to walk a long way due to the lack of parking in the area.
The newsletter said Year 1 and 2 students were being let out early to allow parents of younger children a "pick-up and go" option at 2.50pm but the parent claimed this didn't make any difference.
She did not believe there were any safety concerns regarding illegal parking.
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"We're all parents so we've all got some kind of child safety awareness about us."
Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said the cameras and ticketing was "absolutely ridiculous".
"Most of those parks are five-minute parks and it takes longer to pick up your child than that. There are not enough parks to start charging people."
Tauranga Primary School principal Fiona Hawes said in a written statement the "illegal parking and dangerous driving behaviour" posed a safety risk.
"Children getting home safely will always take precedence over parking convenience," she said.
"Of most concern are parking on yellow lines, double parking, [and] reversing out of driveways or in any area that people [or] children walk."
Hawes said it would be ideal to have more parking, but the challenge to find a park only arose for 20 minutes at the end of each day during the pick-up period.
She said that the council consulted with the school on installing the cameras, with parking wardens regularly patrolling roads near the school.
The school encouraged families to use other transport options or park further away from school and walk if there were no available parks close by.
Tauranga City Council network safety and sustainability manager, Martin Parkes, said the installation of cameras and patrolling of wardens was initiated in partnership with the school.
Parking wardens had been employed around the school for more than 10 years and no additional staff had recently been employed.