Demonstrations have begun in a Rotorua carpark, to introduce the city's new meter system.

Yesterday council staff began talking users through the new technology in the Haupapa St carpark opposite the library.

There are more than 3550 vehicle parks in the central city, including more than 500 metered and pay-and-display parks which are all coin-operated.

Parking kaitiaki Marcelle Morrison with the new parking pay system. Photo/Ben Fraser
Parking kaitiaki Marcelle Morrison with the new parking pay system. Photo/Ben Fraser

I-Park general manager Mike Kelly said under the new system "every user has the option of using coins to pay for their parking or credit cards".

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They can also use a mobile app to pay.

The i-Park contract covers all central city parking, including the parking building.

It will progressively take over the services from the council from July 1, the start of the 2018/19 financial year.

For now, the Rotorua meters still dispense tickets for the pay-and-display system.

Once the new i-Park meters are installed, parking in the city will move to a ticketless "pay by plate" model.

Users will be asked to enter their licence plate and how long they wish to park for.

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Receipts can be obtained via email, and app users can pay to extend their time, if parking allows, without having to return to their car.

The new state-of-the-art system will save the council about $500,000 a year, but will affect the jobs of some wardens.

Last week a council media statement said it was working through options with the staff and their union representatives.

The i-Park software can be used to promote local activities and events on terminal screens, and to provide multi-language functions, including te reo Māori.

The council received six partner proposals and, after negotiation, signed a contract on Friday with New Zealand-owned Innovative Parking Solutions Ltd (i-Park).

"The terms of the contract keep council in control of parking policy and in receipt of revenue, without the outlay of infrastructural cost, which is expected to be about $2 million, to replace our outdated meters and other parking equipment," acting operations group manager Henry Weston said in the statement last week.

"Overall we expect the contract to save council about $500,000 per year, based on current costs."

The demonstrations will run from June until all meters are replaced with the new technology.

There will be no change to the electronic car charging stations.