The days of free parking in Auckland Domain could be over, with plans for parking charges on weekdays.
No costs have been set, but the charges in streets around the Domain are typically in the range of $1 or $2 for the first hour and $2 thereafter.
No date has been set for introducing charges, which would most likely apply on weekdays from 8am to 6pm. Weekends would remain free.
A report to Auckland Council's Domain Committee said the charges will have a two-fold benefit of freeing up parking for visitors and providing a revenue stream to fund work in the Domain.
A survey last year by Auckland Transport found the Domain's 600 car parks were 90 per cent full on weekdays with many motorists driving round looking for a free all-day park. The problem was not as bad at weekends with 68 per cent occupancy on Saturdays.
The introduction of pay and display parking in surrounding streets will increase the demand for free parking in the Domain, the report said.
A master plan for the park calls for the removal of 180 car parks from roads heavily used by pedestrians. This will be compensated with 200 more parking spaces through the redevelopment of the Titoki St car park, and new paths from the car park to the sports fields in the Domain.
AT has two dedicated parking wardens in the Domain who frequently observe people moving their cars to avoid fines. Records show a number of drivers are repeat offenders, suggesting the fines are not a deterrent, said the report.
Domain Committee chairman Mike Lee said there is a problem with people exploiting free parking in the Domain to go off to work, making it hard for genuine visitors to the Domain and Auckland Museum to find a park.
Lee said he did not favour installing pay and display meters and charging motorists, but wanted to see AT enforcing the rules better.
He did not believe the parking revenue would be a "pot of gold" for the Domain.