Pay and walkaway winning

Remembering number plates for paperless parking is still an issue. Photo: Supplied.

Nearly a month after their introduction, Tauranga’s new paperless parking meters have had ‘how to use’ instructions added to them, but fail to remember registration plate details remain customers biggest issue.

“The parking team tell us they’ve had a few complaints where people have entered the wrong licence plate number, but it’s been easy enough to check back, find the error and resolve it for the customer,” says city council communications advisor Marcel Currin.

The machines now have “How To Use This Machine” stickers on them to help new users navigate the instructions.

Tauranga has chosen to go with the number plate entry instead of parking place entry because it links with the PayMyPark app, and the system allows the car to be moved within the parking zone.

It’s easier to resolve customer queries when they’re attached to the vehicle rather than a specific parking space.

The numbered parking bay system would need a whole lot of maintenance, because if a physical number is obscured, worn out or vandalised in any way there’s more room for errors and customer disputes.

Enforcement is done via licence plate recognition, the same as for PayMyPark.

When the car’s licence number is entered into the parking machine and payment made, the payment details for that licence number are communicated electronically to Council.

The parking officer on duty can then check the vehicle’s parking status by entering the licence plate into their mobile device.

The system only records parking information; it doesn’t give Council a remote way to check WOF or registration information which is a concern some people have raised.

Tauranga’s gone paperless because of pressure from the banks to update its machines to keep up with credit card technology, says transport manager Martin Parkes.

The paperless system saves people from returning to their vehicle to display a ticket.

“You will be able to pay and walk away without going back to the car. You will need to know your licence plate number or have it written down.”

 The change to paperless parking has also reduced the number of parking machines in the city from 153 to 110.

“People won’t have to return to their cars to display tickets, so we can increase the distance between each on-street parking machine,’” says Martin.

"The paperless system will also save the council a lot of maintenance."

There is no paperless or virtual chalk involved. The parking officers check their mobile devices instead of looking on the car’s dash for a paper ticket.

They still walk the streets, check one car at a time and use real chalk. The 10min grace period also still applies as usual.



Posted on 01-08-2017 10:39 | By Papamoaner

Not to mention having our head and shoulders imaged and stored at ATM’s. Those images are time/date stamped, as are most petrol station cctv images. I guess it’s only a matter of time before parking spaces retrieve our image as well, time/date stamped with NPR back to a central server, where ANPR can then forward "vehicles of interest" to law enforcement agencies. As you alluded earlier, it’s all a bit too big brother to many of us, but the enforcement and public security/safety advantages are huge. My wife already tracks me by EFTPOS, haha. She only has to pull up the bank statement to see where I’ve been!


Posted on 31-07-2017 17:58 | By Papamoaner

More worrying than NPR, is the expanding versatility of RFID (radio freq ID). I recently entered a Kathmandu shop wearing a sewn-in tagged jacket. It beeped in the doorway. It had just previously also beeped at a Just Jeans shop. They removed it for me. It’s possible with many RFID tags to enter data from a remarkable distance, so hypothetically, you could walk in, a complete stranger, and be greeted with "do you like that jacket you are wearing Mr CC8? We see you bought it at our other branch last month." They’re everywhere - cow’s ear-tags, dogs, pallets on trucks, wool bales, AG feed, staff parking gates, luggage etc. Bit of a worry eh, especially when dual with bar-coding. Popular with scientists for re-locating field data loggers outdoors. Easy - Unlike GPS, no batteries neede


Posted on 31-07-2017 17:13 | By Papamoaner

Don’t be petty! I don’t give a tinker’s cuss weather the NPR we’re discussing is manual or automatic. I was merely discussing the principle and responding to CC8’s privacy concerns, you nasty piece of work! I wasn’t having a dig at CC8 as you would like to infer in your underhand way that seems to be your modus operandi on these threads. Most folks are here to discuss and debate, sometimes strongly. You only seem to be here to cause friction so you can sit back and watch sparks like a child playing with matches. Get counselling before it’s too late.

Told off

Posted on 31-07-2017 10:03 | By Minib

Well CC8 consider your self put in your place by Papamoaner he knows best.What he really meant was ANPR and we have one in the BOP you have nothing to fear if all your rego and WOF is up to date.As a matter of interest they cost about $40.000 to install in Police Cars.Have a nice day.


Posted on 31-07-2017 07:39 | By

Can you still pay cash?

Question Papamoaner

Posted on 30-07-2017 18:05 | By Minib

I thought NPR stood for National Public Radio how things change with time.


Posted on 30-07-2017 10:30 | By Papamoaner

I’m trying to remember where it was I recently saw my rego on a parking docket. I’m pretty sure it was at an airport. If you see a distant camera looking horizontally at a boom gate anywhere these days, you can probably expect your rego to appear on your docket. I agree it seems draconian, but in these days of terrorism and more serious crime, what other choices do we have? Some cameras have sufficient resolution to image the whole vehicle so that colour, rego and vehicle occupants can be readily identified. I think a parking machine pales into insignificance.


Posted on 30-07-2017 10:18 | By Papamoaner

Parking machines are the least of your concerns if you don’t want to be tracked. We ALREADY ARE tracked by cctv, and NPR is imminent like it or not. Soon we will start getting NPR based speeding tickets. EG;- You couldn’t have got from Tauranga to Auckland in that time without speeding, so here is your ticket. Next up, (theoretically) GE based vehicle recognition. (NPR=number plate recognition, already quite widely used here in NZ)

Not new

Posted on 29-07-2017 18:40 | By Papamoaner

Only new in Tauranga. They have been in other centres for a while now. They prevent cars overstaying by switching bays. If you need a receipt, just record the screen with your cellphone camera.

I will NEVER enter my rego.....

Posted on 29-07-2017 13:03 | By CC8

I am not about to be tracked by TCC .... my movements are my business, if TCC thinks they are going to be big brother , think again...No more shopping where the stupid meters are..... so that alone will work, keeps half the population away shopping at the malls and local shopping centers, so there wont be a necessity for meters in town....just an expensive way to do it . Mr Parkes’ obsession with this stuff is laughable.... remember not everyone has a cellphone and hardly anyone wants to be tracked and traced and recorded.

Parking app

Posted on 29-07-2017 08:37 | By simple.really

works great but you need data on your phone to use it. I thought the CBD had free wi fi but doesn’t seem to be the case. Would be great if there was a mobile wi fi hotspot by each machine.


Posted on 28-07-2017 18:59 | By overit

has car parking bays numbered. You just punch in the no. No need to remember your rego. Simple as!!

What's the difference

Posted on 28-07-2017 17:07 | By waiknot

What’s the difference between these new parking meters and a one armed bandit. With the one armed bandit you at least have a chance.


Posted on 28-07-2017 16:12 | By commonsense

What do you do if you need a receipt for business purposes??

Stupid idea

Posted on 28-07-2017 14:30 | By Capt_Kaveman

how much has council wasted on meters over the last 10+ years and as for martin i still think is a waste of space

Alzheimer notch filter might do the trick

Posted on 28-07-2017 14:20 | By Papamoaner

Beats me how some folks don’t know their own rego


Posted on 28-07-2017 13:29 | By thebrad

I work on Elizabeth Street i was looking out my window and the parking cop gave this car a ticket at 2:59pm one minute before free parking i thought that was pretty disgusting. But that’s what Martin Parkes likes $$$$$.

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