Businesses on the land patrolled by an aggressive parking enforcement company seen clamping drivers' wheels within seconds are torn about its actions.
A manager at one of the 126 Valley Rd businesses in Mt Eden said he was sick of bearing the brunt of drivers' anger after they'd been speedily clamped, but the owner of another said without enforcement people would use his customers' parks all day long.
A Herald investigation revealed an Amalgamate Car Parking Services staffer was sitting for hours in an unmarked car in the Auckland suburb, waiting to swoop in on drivers who had momentarily parked in the wrong spot.
Many were stung as they went to pick up takeaways from Burger Fuel, which is next door to the carpark but not part of it.
Burger Fuel spokeswoman Kate McGahan said the company was aware of the issue and the franchisee was "currently looking at other local parking options so that we can provide a solution for our customers".
"In the meantime, we will provide extra signage outside our stores to assist our customers and prevent more fines," she said.
Signage at the carpark's entrance said it was only for customers at Resene paint shop, Videon DVD store, Glengarry bottle store, Long Term Healthstar pharmacy and two eateries - Flavour Hut and Jolin Shanghai restaurant.
Liz Wheadon, general manager of Glengarry, said the company was aware that cars were being towed at the landlord's request but the wheel clamping was new.
"It is our landlord's carpark, we do have spaces in it as part of our lease.... In sites where we have our own carparks, this is not the approach we take, rather we talk with customers."
The arrangement with the parking company was made by the property's owner, Eddie Li.
The manager at one of the businesses, who asked to remain anonymous as he was concerned about his job, told the Herald he had asked Li to stop the clampers but nothing had changed.
"We're getting the brunt of it, like people come in and say 'hey you did this to me', but no it's not us," he said.
"I'd like it to be stopped. As in, they just don't do it."
The manager said he had no control over what was happening in the parking lot which was "very frustrating".
When approached by the Herald, Li said he was busy.
"I said I have no comment for this issue."
Healthstar owner John Ma said while he could understand people's frustration if they were only parking for a few minutes, but he supported the carpark's regulation.
"Two or three minutes - that's fine, but we have no idea who is parking for two hours and who is parking for two minutes."
Some people ignored the rules on purpose because they wanted free parking, he said.
"Lots of people are just parking there and they go away because you have no parking in the Dominion Rd car parking area."
If parking rules weren't enforced that would mean no parking for his customers, Ma said.
Kelvin Zhang, a staff member at another business, shared Ma's views.
Personally he would be angry to be clamped within minutes, but from the business' perspective he wanted customers to be able to park outside, he said.
A manager at Videon who asked not to be named said he would not push Li to change his agreement with Amalgamated unless customers asked him to.
"Landlords have a right to protect the parking spaces for the businesses they own so I don't feel we have much room to move."
He acknowledged the line between over-zealous parking enforcement and drivers disobeying rules was a blurry one.
"It's one of those things where, I don't know if there's a loophole and they're exploiting it."