David Seymour has made an impassioned plea to the council to ensure parking fees for mobility parking spaces aren't introduced.

The new parking bylaw will be presented to the Whangarei District Council at a meeting on December 14.

An earlier story in the Northern Advocate suggested the council had already made the decision to charge for the use of mobility parking spaces, which was incorrect.

Under the previous bylaw, the council has always had the legal ability to charge for mobility spaces, but didn't do so. The council is required to review the bylaw every 10 years.


Chief executive Rob Forlong said the outcome of the development process for the new bylaw was to recommend that council charge for using the spaces, however the bylaw has not yet been adopted.

He said there was likely to be debate on this matter at the December 14 meeting.

Mr Seymour, who has motor neurone disease and uses a mobility parking card, spoke to councillors at a meeting on Thursday. He said introducing parking charges was more about "money grabbing" than the welfare of the disabled.

"Why is the money more important than the people?"

He said often people with disabilities have low incomes and many struggles in life which the parking charge would just add to.

Mr Seymour said it would make the mobility parking card, which costs $50 from CCS Disability Action, worthless. He said the extra costs would likely reduce visits by people with disabilities to the CBD.

"To remove the privilege of free parking from this minority group in our community is purely shameful and wrong on your behalf."

He said the preferred option was not to have any parking fees for mobility permit holders, but also offered a suggestion where there would be a fee after two hours of free parking.


The bylaw, which will be presented to council states that in parking areas where motorists have to pay, those using mobility parking spaces and those displaying permits in standard carparks, will have to pay for up to the first hour, but can park for the maximum time.

Where there is no time limit but drivers have to pay, permit holders can stay for twice as long as they pay for. For places with a time limit up to 120 minutes but no charge, permit holders can stay for double the specified length of time.