If you are always struggling to find a car park in town centres you may not like the changes central government has made to the car parking requirements for new developments.
The Government's National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPSUD) which became law last year, orders all councils to remove minimum car parking requirements for new developments from district plans by February 2022 at the latest.
Some councils have already done so and the aim is to align and co-ordinate planning across urban areas throughout New Zealand.
The NPSUD says that if the district plan of a [council] contains policies or rules that have the effect of requiring a minimum number of car parks for a particular development, [the council] must change its district plan to remove that, other than in respect of accessible car parks.
While the policy doesn't stop a business from having car parks if it wishes to, the decision on the number of car parks will be up to developers in the future.
Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest said the nationwide direction to remove minimum car parking could result in a complete lack of on-site car parking.
"We are required by central government to implement the NPSUD, whether or not we agree with the changes, and this is one that goes against what our local communities want. We've heard loud and clear that our communities want more car parks, not less, so we'll certainly be looking at new developments so the developers can take parking needs into consideration."
Hamilton developer Matt Stark from Stark Property says he doesn't think the community needs to "freak out" about no more car parks in new developments.
"We [Stark Property] haven't built a development without car parks in the past and so far, we don't have any planned like that either. We work out what the market wants - people think developers are these big, scary people, but we are much smarter than people give us credit for."
He says the changing of car park requirements doesn't feel like a comprehensive plan.
"The challenge that I see is changing the public's perception on car usage. I'm absolutely pro shift [to alternative transport], but our local bodies didn't come up with an alternative that works yet. Te Huia [commuter rail] for example isn't really flexible - and Kiwis like to be flexible. I think cycling is great, I am a cyclist myself, but I have three little kids.
"On top of that, I don't like using my bike when it's raining and we in the Waikato just have a different kind of precipitation. There are buses, but how many people take buses?"
Hamilton city planning manager Luke O'Dwyer says Hamilton City Council has not required car parking for projects in the central city since 2013.
"So the amendments in the NPSUD don't really change the situation for developments in the central city as such."
He says that while HCC cannot require developers to provide car parking anymore, the council thinks individual developers will still choose to provide car parking for their projects.
Hamilton City councillor Sarah Thomson says the new requirements will be beneficial for smaller businesses.
"It also makes the city centre more compact, looking at how much space cars are taking up now. There are just concerns that we end up with more people parking illegally."
Waikato Regional city councillor Angela Strange said the changes are a good thing within larger urban areas as it allows greater density within the CBD.
"Hamilton is in a difficult transition stage because it is growing rapidly. We can't park and drive like we used to. Increasing density in the CDB and along key transport corridors where there are already public transport services and infrastructure for walking and cycling gives people choice."
She says the car park requirements could be a bit more difficult for smaller areas because they are more car dependent.