Parking time limits in Wellington will be extended to four hours on Friday and Saturday nights after the arts sector complained people wouldn't have enough time to attend shows.
Earlier this week the city council received an open letter signed by 16 hospitality and arts stakeholders including the New Zealand Opera, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Circa Theatre, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
The letter was in opposition to extending central city paid parking with two-hour time limits to 10pm from the current time of 8pm on Fridays and 6pm on Saturdays.
The group said this extension would not give audiences enough time to attend an event.
"Many event organisers and producers work to increase access and remove barriers to participation in the arts, and this decision will considerably undermine their efforts if some audiences can't park in Wellington for at least the duration of the event they are attending."
They did not take issue with paying for parking until 10pm.
At a council meeting today councillors agreed to extend time limits to four hours between 6pm and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
This will come into effect in three months.
Mayor Andy Foster said the initial two-hour extension proposal had flown under the radar and lost amid a complex long-term plan.
He said asking people to get up in the middle of a performance to move their vehicle wasn't practical.
Foster said the change of plan today was about "fixing a mistake".
The only councillor who voted against the move was Iona Pannett, who voiced concerns about climate change. Councillor Laurie Foon was not present.
But councillor Tamatha Paul said what they were changing did not significantly impede the council's efforts on climate change.
She said people were still going to have to pay for parking.
"I'm satisfied that the changes in here will provide the disincentives for parking by charging people."
Paul said she might have taken a different stance if buses weren't being "cancelled left right and centre".
Deputy mayor Sarah Free said it would be "a bit mean" not to make the change.
Councillor Nicola Young has previously said the parking changes were a money grab with no thought about unintended consequences.
"Council cannot drive a stake through the heart of the hospitality and creative sectors when they are already struggling to survive in these Covid times.
"Council boasts that Wellington is the creative capital and a foodie epicentre, and yet these parking changes will devastate both."
Councillor Diane Calvert was unsuccessful in getting an amendment across the line for officers to investigate extending paid on-street parking time limits to between three and four hours during the days, evenings, and weekends.
But she successfully proposed that council officials should provide quarterly monitoring performance reports on parking capacity and investigate evening and weekend opportunities in parking buildings.
"We made a mistake and we need to try and rectify it," she said.