Wellingtonians have been slapped with more than 800 parking fines on the first day of paid parking since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Some motorists have been particularly unlucky and have landed themselves with double tickets.

Wellington City Council parking wardens issued a total of 863 infringements yesterday and 44 warnings.

Several cars on Abel Smith St were seen with two tickets each tucked behind their windscreen wipers.


It serves as somewhat of a warning for other main centres like Auckland and Christchurch where parking has been kept free until the country moves into alert level 2 tomorrow.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said wardens were working at about three quarters of their usual capacity and following the same set routes they've always monitored on a daily basis.

"We think we've given people a pretty good run up and a warning that enforcement was going to start again. I know a lot of people would love us to put the parking wardens away and never see them again, but unfortunately that's never going to happen, they're back".

Double tickets were issued, for example, when vehicles had both not paid for parking and overstayed the time limit of the park, MacLean said.

The number of tickets issued yesterday is roughly in line with a pre-Covid weekday.

Mayor Andy Foster wanted free parking to remain in the CBD until at least June and for weekend parking to be free for a period following the end of lockdown to attract people back into town.

But the majority of his councillors overruled him.

They voted at a full council meeting on 9 April to reinstate paid parking two weeks after a return to alert level 3.


At the time councillor Jenny Condie said free parking was an expensive initiative and scrapping it would save millions of dollars.

It was also agreed up to $1 million of those parking proceeds would be allocated to community grants, along with a further $500,000 from rates.

At the meeting Councillor Sean Rush said it ensured the most vulnerable were being looked after while providing a robust balance sheet for economic recovery.

"In reality if we want to help the most vulnerable then we have to take money from somewhere. The evidence is that parking fees will not change shopping habits."

The council has also created several temporary, free 15-minute parking areas in the city and other suburbs.

Condie said it was to help encourage Wellingtonians to "love local".

"These parks are so people can quickly collect takeaway orders from businesses and food outlets under the different Covid-19 Alert Levels."

Since moving to alert level 3, the council has reported receiving a high number of complaints from those trying to access loading zones to drop-off goods to businesses but finding them occupied by vehicles parking there for significant periods.

In response, the council resumed the enforcement of Loading Zones on Wednesday last week.