Aucklanders love their cars. But with that, comes a squeeze on parking spaces in many residential areas. Now residents are taking matters into their own hands - attempting to use cones to reserve spots for themselves. Dubby Henry investigates the legalities.
Cones, rubbish bins and buckets are being used to save parking spots on a busy road in Auckland - and one resident has had enough.
The orange cones first appeared on Peihinga Rd in Flat Bush late last year, resident Sally Watson says. It was one home at first but the cones multiplied and now they are used all over the street.
"I'm getting really, really upset. Every time I'm driving home, I see the cones. The street looks so untidy," Watson told the Herald.
She's even had a note left on her car warning her not to park in a public space on her street.
"Please don't park your car here, because it's in front of my house and we need to stop! Thank!!! (sic)" the note said.
Peihinga is part of a new subdivision - Watson bought her house new three years ago. Almost every home on the street had seven bedrooms and extra boarders stayed at many of the houses, including her own, Watson said.
Five or six cars belonged to each home, so there was an increasing battle for parking space on the road - made worse because people seemed to use their double garages for storage, not parking.
Watson had made the mistake of parking in front of a neighbour's house - the only spot free at the time - and later found the hand-scrawled note on her windscreen and an orange cone jammed up against her back bumper.
But when she reported the issue to Auckland Council and to the Howick Local Board, she was advised her neighbours' actions were not legal.
"Simply remove the bin and place it on the owner's berm/ letterbox area," a local board representative advised Watson.
"Peihinga Road is a public road, property owners only own their section up to the boundary line – property owners don't own the footpath or the berm and most definitely not the road."
But there was little more they could do.
It's not the first time Auckland residents have resorted to extreme tactics to save spaces for their cars.
In Bucklands Beach last year one household was called out for reserving a parking spot with a line of toy cones, sparking a heated argument. When a neighbour complained she claimed she had the door slammed in her face.
A Facebook post from the Howick Local Board asking people to stop the practice quickly became a forum for complaints from commenters frustrated at the subdivisions going up around them - and the insufficient parking developers had provided.
Letters had also been posted to homes with cones outside, but nothing had changed, Watson said.
People were not allowed to put out cones or bins to reserve parking, Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannah said.
"You do not own the parking spot outside your house – it is available for anyone to park."
Asked if there was any way to enforce a ban on using cones to reserve a park, Hannan said AT could "do a door knock or leaflet drop" if there was a problem in a particular street.