A new high-tech car designed to check vehicles for a warrant of fitness and registration is about to hit Rotorua's inner city streets, leaving many locals divided on who it benefits.
Rotorua Lakes Council said in a statement this week the i-PARK scan car would be driven through the CBD, once testing and training was complete, with an initial focus on vehicles that do not have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or registration.
It will later help parking wardens with issuing parking infringements.
Rotorua local Rosemary Dobb said the car was, in her opinion, "just a revenue gathering system for the council" and was highly unnecessary.
She said although she was mindful of paying for the correct amount of parking time, a car that was on to you for being five or so minutes late was "ridiculous".
However, the council's operations group manager Henry Weston said owners of parked vehicles would be given a 10-minute leeway period to top up their parking payment or move their car after they exceeded the stated time restriction.
Utuhina resident Amy Roper is on the other side of the fence, saying she thought it was an efficient way to catch people without a WoF.
She said there would be fewer unsafe cars on the road as a result which would benefit everyone.
Many residents the Rotorua Daily Post spoke too were surprised and shocked the council would bring something like the vehicle in.
The council's community compliance team leader Kurt Williams said the scan car aimed to improve efficiencies in monitoring and enforcing inner city parking policy and to ensure the parking system was fair and consistent for all users.
"If the scan car identifies a car with an expired WoF or registration, within the parameters set by council, it will automatically issue an infringement which will be sent in the post to the registered owner of the vehicle."
He said using the scan car was another, more efficient way of doing things.
The council said the scan car would not impact on jobs as the current parking wardens would alternate between driving the car and patrolling the streets.
The council provides a 28-day grace period for vehicle owners to renew an expired WoF or registration before an infringement is issued.
i-Park general manager Mike Kelly said the scan car would be an integral part of an effective parking system for the CBD as it would allow multiple vehicles to be quickly scanned.
The council's monitoring system has relied on chalking vehicle tyres, using the "eyes in the ground" sensors to alert parking wardens to cars that have exceeded time-restricted parking spaces, and more recently the i-PARK handheld scanners used to scan licence plates.
The new i-PARK scan car will shortly begin testing and residents will see the vehicle in the city's inner streets as it undergoes driver training.
The scan car will monitor on-street parking between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am and 12pm on Saturdays.