Council raises parking leases

File photo.

Tauranga City Council is raising the cost of leasing carparks in the CBD in a move one disgruntled customer says demonstrates inept planning.

Leased parking customers will be advised of the fee increase this week, says a council communications advisor.

A city centre worker told SunLive about the fee increase last week. They have leased a Spring Street carpark since 2015 when it cost $110 a month for unallocated parking.

“This increased to $130 a month immediately after Trustpower relocated, when parking issues really became apparent,” says the city centre worker.

“After the increase we were initially told that we wouldn't be guaranteed a park - this policy was quickly changed after a large number of complaints from lease-holders, and we were given a numbered park that was covered.

“Then early last week we received a letter informing us that our parks were being moved to the roof which is uncovered and incredibly inconvenient to those that work until late hours in the winter.

“After writing a complaint I was informed that we would soon receive communication indicating that the parking charge is increasing to $180 a month.”

Within the space of six months their parking would have increased by 38 per cent or $600 a year, or $840 over an 18 month period.

“This is a lot of money for a single income family paying a mortgage, and rates which incidentally have gone up 90 per cent in nine years.

“I can only assume that casual parking charges will increase as well given the upcoming charges would make leasing uneconomical.”

Fees are a tool to help manage the parking demand, says city transportation manager Martin Parkes. Leased parking fees are reviewed annually.

“Over the past year the council has significantly improved the level of service in both parking buildings,” says Martin. The new price for uncovered parks will be $160 per month. The new price for covered parks will be $180 per month.

“For that price customers get a guaranteed park in the city centre at a competitive rate,” says Martin.

The draft Annual Plan includes a proposal to increase the early bird rate for both parking buildings to $10 per day.

There are 1,839 council controlled off-street car parks in the city centre, 674 of these are leased (339 uncovered, 335 covered).

The $160/$180 figures apply to the upper floor customers at the Spring and Elizabeth Street buildings. Leased prices around the city vary according to location and are cheaper further away from the city centre.

Lease holders were moved to the top of the Elizabeth Street building last year, says Martin.

“It works a lot better for everyone when we keep the middle floors of the parking buildings available for casual parking customers.

“We moved lease holders to the top of the Elizabeth Street building last year and it has worked really well. The current set up at Spring Street creates frustration for casual customers and lease holders alike. We get a lot of complaints, so we're making the same change that has been so helpful at Elizabeth Street.”


CBD is a joke

Posted on 11-06-2017 23:39 | By Captain Hottie

Went to the Paradox exhibition mid week. Got into town a bit before 10. There were NO car parks anywhere (I parked at Memorial Park) yet CBD was like a ghost town. Mainly because most of the shops couldn't be bothered opening before 10. So the car parks and street parks certainly weren't being filled by shoppers were they? I suspect the CBD workers were playing the game of 'shift your car or feed the meter' (so easy now you can top up by text) so hogging the parks all day. On the bright side at least they are getting exercise walking to and from their cars several times a day!


Posted on 02-06-2017 15:54 | By waxing

So what you and your mates really want is to be the only person driving your cars into and from work, and be able to blame everything onto the city council. I'm sorry but Tauranga is no longer a little provincial fishing village and it is time you set aside your hedonistic lifestyle and grow up.

@ waxing

Posted on 31-05-2017 19:16 | By Accountable

The facts are the parking shortage has been created by Council staff member Martin Parkes receiving very poor advice from a consultant with the resulting loss of about fifteen hundred car parks in the last five years and to add to the parking problems in the CBD any new development is not required to supply any parking therefor putting pressure on the Council to supply the required parking which they don't have the funds to do. There is no congestion in the CBD ( we wish there was) and any congestion on the thoroughfares around Tauranga has not been created by traffic coming and going from the CBD. Again we wish this was the case. Read my last comments, Council aren't interested in customers from the suburbs so we need to nurture our workers and increasing parking charges and forcing them take a bus is not the way .

@Waxing again

Posted on 31-05-2017 16:31 | By charliebrown

I don't think you realise the difference between driving and busing. A car means you can leave when needed whereas a bus means you can leave at given times. So if you finish work at 5pm and the closest bus schedule is 5.15pm then you lose 10-15 minutes. Then there is the walk to the bus stationstop. And unfortunately buses are still victims of the same choke points. And the commute issues are at least partly council caused by their misguided plan to locate all large commercial operations in a single cbd rather than distributing it - that is why traffic is usually grid-locked in only one direction. Car pooling and buses are both something available in auckland and are not the solution to stopping us from becoming auckland.


Posted on 31-05-2017 14:51 | By waxing

I realise that not everyone can use buses at the right time, although with the growing traffic congestion in Tauranga (especially at peak hours) a bus is likely to see people home earlier to tuck their children in. But if buses aren't suitable, car pooling usually is and there should be incentives for them (eg able to use the bus lanes). You will only free up parking in the CBD by not encouraging single occupant cars. Car pooling and greater use of buses is the only way we avoid becoming like Auckland.


Posted on 31-05-2017 14:45 | By waxing

It is always up to the retailers to attract their own shoppers. Some will be workers in the CBD. Some will be people already using buses to come in and shop (and I know plenty who do). Some shoppers have driven into town and struggled to find parks (filled up by CBD workers), so they move to surburban shopping centres. Surely what you want is more shoppers coming to the CBD? So argue for them having parking available and for workers busing in or car sharing as much as possible. It would reduce traffic congestion, and increase public transport income. What do you lose?


Posted on 30-05-2017 20:34 | By charliebrown

Public transport isn't practical for everyone - in fact when I look at my colleagues I don't see many people where it is, most of them being parents with young children trying to balance work and family commitments. Driving instead of taking a bus can be the difference between tucking your child in at night vs not seeing them all week. And the council are inept - they are scrambling, offering leases to businesses that are complaining instead of people that have been on the waiting list for over a year. Very few people are happy about the parking situation which was 100% foreseeable; workers, shoppers, retail businesses are all getting shafted, the only people that would be happy are the commercial company workers that have on premise parks for nothing and aren't losing customers. Your vision has Tauranga becoming just like Auckland - no thanks.

@ waxing

Posted on 30-05-2017 19:21 | By Accountable

I was talking to Councillor Morris 29/05/17 and he stressed we have to make do with the working people in the CBD for our custom as Council has no intention of encouraging those from the suburbs to shop in the CBD. Buses don't bring shoppers. The Council allows people to park all day in the one spot as long as they pay the meter. They actually don't care as long as they keep the money rolling in. The Council are very anti business in the CBD and the parking system and Councillors comments are proof of that. If you were to work in the heart of the CBD seven days a week as we do you would actually know what you are talking about but at the moment you are proving you actually know absolutely nothing about the problems and the easy fixes in the CBD.


Posted on 30-05-2017 14:44 | By waxing

Accountable: People in Tauranga have to stop thinking that they can park outside wherever they go. But the biggest solution to what you talk about is to reduce the people driving to work with no other people in the car. We now have a reasonably good public transport system. They should use it. Then the parks will become free for the shoppers you want in the CBD. At the moment, people at work shift their cars around between parks on the street all day!Charliebrown: I agree except for your last line.CCB: I agreeLinaire: I agree, which is why we have to create a financial disincentive for workers driving to the CBD to free parking up for shoppers.thebrad: Stop thinking like we're a provincial fishing village. We're now the 5th (nearly the 4th) largest city in NZ. It should cost workers to park in the CBD.


Posted on 30-05-2017 10:18 | By thebrad

Hey waxing Tauranga isn't a big city unless you came from Gore..... 1 million + is a big city. The TCC have not got the intelligence to think out side the box to generate money in other ways. Between the paid parking and the parking tickets they issue its money for jam and i would image they all pat each other on the backs when the financial year is done. Well done Martin Parkes you the man


Posted on 30-05-2017 08:30 | By Linaire

Getting a park in the parking building has become more difficult since Trustpower moved into Durham Street. That building should have been constructed with a carpark underneath. So should all future buildings in the CBD, including the new Council building! The lack of carparks puts me right off going into the CBD.

ask Mr Parkes

Posted on 29-05-2017 22:28 | By CC8

Ask him about the free parking in the parking buildings given to Trustpower for their workers as an incentive to move into the middle of town. Thereby ENCOURAGING more people to drive to work. What's that going to be like once they make offers to university, increase council staff and add a couple more "desireable" inner city tenants.


Posted on 29-05-2017 22:02 | By charliebrown

To add to this - the council have removed parks and allowed the university to build in its place without requiring parks to accommodate the students, the council have replaced car parks with a play area, they have encouraged business like Trustpower to locate in the city without provisioning enough parks for 3/4 of the demand they cause (it got worse overnight when Trustpower moved), and the council have the freaking cheek to say its supply and demand. The council are literally decreasing the supply on one hand and increasing the demand on the other - then charging us for it.The council are incompetent and are scrambling to cover for their inept planning.

@ waxing

Posted on 29-05-2017 20:28 | By Accountable

Your comments are typical of someone who has no idea of the issues within the CBD. We in the CBD have been down this path with Council before with dire consequences for the business people within the metered areas of city center. Why they continue to tax a small area of the whole of Tauranga is beyond comprehension but it appears it is the easy way out when the Council needs more funding. The foot traffic figures from a counter in Devonport Road have been showing a slow but steady decrease and this will only get worse when people realise it is once again not worth going into the CBD when they can get all they need elsewhere without the unnecessary parking charges and fines that are all part and parcel of parking. We have more suburban shopping centers per head of population than anywhere else in the country.

Stop whining

Posted on 29-05-2017 14:40 | By waxing

Over the last 15 years, the cheapest thing about living in Tauranga compared to elsewhere has been the cost of parking. It still is.As a result, we have cars with only one person clogging our roads.Long-term parking in the CBD is a privilege you pay for. It should always cost more than getting a bus to and from work. And the increased cost is still less than $50 a week. Compare that to any of the other big cities' CBD parking fees and you'd quickly shut up.Stop moaning. And for the rest of you, stop using it to hit the council over the head. In this case, they are doing the right thing.

Yeah Jed

Posted on 29-05-2017 12:47 | By MISS ADVENTURE

This is to be expected, isions of the past coming home to roost, sad but trueen muppets get their hands on the rudder then decisions that can not be understood, decisions where teh consequences are obvious to others lead to the usual mess creted by officials.In end result these rafts of decisions have lead to now, TCC need the parking fees to pay the massive amount of debt already created by equally silly decisions. teh fate of ratepayers is sealed and they yet do not know ...

here we go again

Posted on 29-05-2017 12:37 | By old trucker

Of cause they will do this, TCC say they get a lot of complaints,(this is rubbish) they DO NOT CARE, Mr Parkes does not care either,they do what they want. Where is the so called Mayor on this issue,(he) was going to keep everything under control,(YEAH RIGHT) he has NO say, as he is told what to do by the old school,HE has not got BIG enough (you know what too stand up to these BULLIES) the city is dying and this will cause more STRESS to people,who are already struggling,its ok for TCC for parking,(HOW MUCH) does it cost us for them to park under Kingsview apartments, well now, PROBABLY put up parking price on meters in town as well, i wish he would take calls and listen to complaints we have, (BUT when you ring ) mr parkes will not take calls. Sunlive, Thankyou, 10-4.

How do we end up with bad council time after time...

Posted on 29-05-2017 11:55 | By jed

They are perpetuating the issue too, but allowing accommodation buildings to be constructed without carparks. That will be a huge mistake they will rue in time.

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