Free car parking in the weekends is being investigated in a bid to bring more people back into Christchurch's central city.

The council is looking into whether free car parking could be offered on the weekends in the central city as an enticement.

City council transport operations manager Aaron Haymes said it was considering temporary free parking, but it had not made a final decision.

"The car parks would be council controlled parks but the locations are still under consideration."

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He said it would make a decision within the next few weeks after consultation with businesses and other parking stakeholders.

There had been substantial private investment in car parking buildings, so it was important not to undermine that, he said.

City councillor Deon Swiggs asked staff to look into it.

"It's about getting people back to the central city to try it out. If they have a good experience, they will come back again."

Central City Business Association chairman Brendan Chase said the idea came up at a summit the association held and it would be good for business.

Another idea was if someone bought something at a shop or cafe, they could be reimbursed for their car parking fee, or could get a free ride home on public transport, he said.

More people were returning to the central city, and it was only going to improve, he said.