The council's new parking system collected roughly $2000 in revenue per day in April, compared with between $80 and $200 per day when the system rollout began in November and December last year.

But the acting manager of the Rotorua Lakes Council's community regulatory team Kurt Williams says that's simply because more people are realising they have to pay for parking and fewer people are risking not paying.

"People have always been required to pay, now there's more of a chance of getting caught," he told the Rotorua Daily Post.

Rotorua Lakes Council partnered with service provider i-Park in May last year as a way to modernise obsolete parking equipment and address the increased operating costs and declining revenue.

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The contract covered all central city parking, including the Pukuatua St parking building.

The old parking meters were taken out at the end of last year. Photo / File
The old parking meters were taken out at the end of last year. Photo / File

The roll-out of the new service began in November last year.

Since then new machines had been installed, i-Park had taken over managing infringements and a new scan car, designed to check cars had a current warrant of fitness and registration, had hit the streets in a testing phase.

In the future, the car would also check whether parking had been paid for.

The full rollout was still not complete and would be considered finished once a parking app was fully functional. The app would allow users to pay for parking remotely.

At a Rotorua Lakes Council Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting yesterday Williams told the committee about 60 per cent of parking machine users were using cards to pay and that was steadily increasing.

Between November 2018 and April this year about 11,500 infringements were issued compared with just over 10,000 in the six months prior.

Williams said in April roughly 2.6 per cent of infringements had been waived, which was a small percentage.

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"[That] speaks to the soundness of the procedures that are being followed out on the street," he said at the meeting.

Williams said they were also looking at upgrading the technology in the Pukuatua St carpark building and giving more clarification around the parking zones.

The new parking meters. Photo / Rotorua Lakes Council
The new parking meters. Photo / Rotorua Lakes Council

"We're also looking at options for increased car parking capacity on both the east and west sides of the city. That's in response to some of the feedback that we've had, in particular from CBD workers."

Williams told the Rotorua Daily Post the council had been giving people time to transition to the new system and learn it and comply with it.

He also wanted to make sure the public was aware of things like the 10-minute rule, where they didn't have to pay for parking if they were only going to be 10 minutes, and that they can move around within zones if they still had time left on their parking.

Group manager operations Henry Weston told the Daily Post the council was spending less on the maintenance of the machines compared with the old system.

He said the council also wanted to make the Pukuatua St carpark more attractive.

"It's at 70 per cent occupancy. We feel given the pressures and it's $4 a day we'd like to see it at 100 per cent occupancy."

The new parking system had come under fire and prompted several letters to the editor.