The issue of people breaching council designated parking restrictions in Dannevirke doesn't look to have an easy solution.

The matter was raised at the Dannevirke Community Board's coffee meetings last month with the particular complaint being about people parking in disabled car parking spaces.

Board member Kim Spooner-Taylor said at last week's board meeting the parking issue sparked considerable debate.

"There was a hue and cry about disabled parking and we might need to look at that somehow," she said.

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Councils are required to have designated parking spaces for the disabled, for bus stops and loading zones.

Councillor Erana Peeti-Webber, who is council representative on the community board, asked if the council was going to enforce parking breaches.

She said she understood that some council staff, such as dog control officers, had powers to enforce such issues.

Tararua District Council governance manager Richard Taylor said the issue for the council was one of enforcement.

He acknowledged council staff did have the powers to enforce parking breaches in public areas.

"Council officers can be warranted to carry out that power. A council can delegate staff to have that power at their discretion."

But Taylor said it was around the level of service council staff could provide.

He said the easy solution was to have a dedicated parking warden but this was not practical in Tararua because they would have to patrol the four separate towns.

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Taylor said the real issue was that the council had other duties they had to perform.

Also the income generated from any infringement notices issued would be unlikely to cover the costs of a dedicated parking warden.

Board chairman Pat Walshe suggested there was a need for someone that people could phone if they saw a vehicle parked illegally.

"We can ring the police but they don't want to know about it."

Walshe also asked if council staff could leave notices on vehicles stating, "Please leave his space clear for disabled people."

However, Taylor said he did not know what legal status such a notice would have in this regard, but he didn't think it had any.

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"I have seen these notices but they are really a polite reminder to people to not abuse them. They are only as good as people's consciences allow them to be."

Tararua mayor Tracey Collis asked how many people had spoken to the board about the parking issue.

Spooner-Taylor said the issue had gone viral on social media after it was raised at the first coffee meeting.

In other issues raised at the coffee meetings held during August, Spooner-Taylor said a number of people said they would like to see councillors hold similiar coffee meetings.

Board member Terry Hynes said he felt people thought there was more going on with the council than they knew about.

However, Taylor said all that information was available on the council's website, through the mayor's weekly column and councillors' monthly reports.

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"It's really a case of how much information is too much and how much is too little."

The annual issue of moss on the town's footpaths was aired once again and it was suggested that people concerned about this phone the council and lodge a complaint.

The signs banning dogs from Dannevirke's High St are often ignored.
The signs banning dogs from Dannevirke's High St are often ignored.

A request for a concrete dog bowl at the dog park was deemed to be easily solved by the board which was able to approve simple issues such as this but it also led to another problem raised and that was dogs on High St within the business area.

It was felt the signs banning dogs were not all in the right place and were being ignored by dog owners, many of whom walked their dogs in this area.

The installation of stop signs controlling vehicles leaving petrol stations was also raised as this was considered a hazard, but Taylor said the council had no jurisdiction in this area but it could be raised with the fuel companies.

At the end of the discussion board members agreed that the coffee meetings were well worthwhile and had been well received by residents.

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