Wellington Scoop

Going up – the cost of parking your car in Wellington streets

The Wellington City Council is planning to increase parking charges in the city. It’s proposing an increase of 50 cents an hour in the inner city, and a dollar an hour in fringe areas. Here’s its explanation.

News from WCC
The Council provides on-street parking to make vehicle access to and within the city and its surrounding suburbs easy for residents, local businesses and visitors.

Increasingly, parks are being permanently removed to allow for the provision of walkways, cycleways and priority bus lanes, which make it easier to travel around the city, and contribute to our goal of making the city more accessible. While the number of available parking spaces is reducing, demand for parking and the costs of maintaining the service continues to increase.

The Council’s position is that people who use the parking spaces should contribute more towards the overall cost of providing on street parking. The Council is therefore proposing through the draft 2019/20 Annual Plan to increase a range of on-street parking charges to better reflect the overall costs and better manage parking demand across the city.

On 14 March 2019, the Council approved the draft 2019/20 Annual Plan for consultation. The draft Annual Plan includes six changes to parking charges.

The Wellington City Council Traffic Bylaw requires a separate consultation to be followed when changes are made under this bylaw.

The City Council would like to:

Change the cost of metered parking on the city fringe from $1.50 to $2.50 per hour, seven days a week.
TR93-19 Increase in Metered Parking on City Fringe (247KB PDF)

Increase the cost of metered parking (Monday to Friday) in central Wellington from $3 to $3.50 per hour and $4 to $4.50 per hour.
TR94-19 Increase in Metered Parking in Central Wellington (297KB PDF)

Increase Coupon Parking, including suburban trade coupons (Monday to Friday) from $8.50 to $12, per day. The monthly rate would move from $135 to $200.
TR91-19 Increase in Coupon Parking in CBD (145KB PDF)

Change the 60-minute free parking zone in upper Cuba St to 120 minutes metered parking.

Limit free parking for Freyberg Pool users and Gym members to two hours per day, but with an additional two hours available at the hourly rate of $2.50.

Increase the cost of Resident and Coupon Exemption Parking Permits.
TR95-19 Increase in Residential and Coupon Exemption Permits (150KB PDF)


To give your feedback, read the traffic resolution report/s relevant to you and complete the online feedback form. The deadline for feedback is 5pm Wednesday 8 May.

The feedback form is also available in a printable version, which can be posted.


  1. Paula Benefit, 16. April 2019, 15:41

    I find the cycle ways have made it harder and more hazardous moving around the city.

  2. Dave B, 16. April 2019, 17:55

    Not harder and more hazardous if you’re a cyclist.

  3. Paul, 17. April 2019, 8:57

    Quite right, as long as it is easier for cyclists. Who cares about pedestrians…I do!

  4. Benny, 17. April 2019, 10:04

    I support the cause of better cycleways, but I am uneasy how cyclists approach the discussion as “us versus them”. We are all cyclists and we all drive cars. Yes, when we are in cars, some of us need to be more careful with the us that are on bikes, but the problem with these careless people goes probably beyond the time they are behind a wheel.

    As for the parking charges, I imagine everyone will remember what was done of their opinion last time (in 2018) an increase was put on the table (hint: it was used to make the table less wobbly).

  5. Phil Coffers, 17. April 2019, 10:40

    What are the costs involved in providing street parking? Painting some lines on the road?
    Given the council’s rapacious desire for more money, you would think they’d be keen to provide as much parking as possible for the income stream. Cycleways cost them a fortune and provide no income. It must be terribly conflicting for them.

  6. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 17. April 2019, 12:38

    The Council needs to do a better job of explaining why it provides on-street parking, and how it sets the cost. Parking is valuable public space, made available for a few dollars an hour, while adjacent private space rents for big bucks.
    When parking is too cheap, we all pay.
    Let’s re-think on street parking. Here’s an intro to the high cost of free parking

  7. Harry M, 17. April 2019, 14:45

    Parking is not too cheap. Careful not to fall into fascism of any kind especially in regards to car drivers:)that need parking.

  8. steve doole, 17. April 2019, 18:25

    Harry, what would you think if on-street parking was completely abolished, with private vehicles always parking off-street, (exemptions for taxis, delivery vehicles “loading”, buses, shuttles, disabled, and uber of course)?

  9. Dave B, 17. April 2019, 21:40

    @ Steve Doole: Banning on-street parking would be great for cyclists, not to have their kerb-side riding area repeatedly interrupted by parked cars which force the cyclist out into the traffic stream – to the frustration of both themselves and the traffic trying to get past. Cyclists’ and motorists’ stress levels automatically surge whenever the cyclist has to pull out around a parked car on a busy road (made all-the-narrower by the parked vehicles), and also pass wide enough to be clear of doors that tend to come flying open.
    Allowing car parking on busy roads is a messy compromise unless these roads are super-wide which most aren’t.

  10. luke, 18. April 2019, 7:24

    It’s prime realestate, I cannot see why its not rented out at market rates. Perhaps storing cars isn’t the optimal use for such a scarce resource.

  11. Andrew Bartlett, 18. April 2019, 7:46

    Dave B. I agree, it would be amazing. The ‘door zone’ of a so-called cycleway is so dangerous that one has to ride in the outside edge, yet cars will actually pass closer to a person on a bike if they are in a bike lane!
    Sadly the presence of parking prevents the introduction of simple and relatively cheap measures like the ‘crocodile’ lane barriers (that effectively delineate lanes and stop corner cutting) and safe-hit posts.
    Finally, even at a physical infrastructure level it seems to cost around $10-20,000 per space to build and around $270 each per year to maintain, before you work out if there is anything better that could have been done with the space.


    Road space is really expensive, why don’t we use it to move people first!

  12. Joise Talofi, 18. April 2019, 8:43

    Yes the cycle lanes are dangerous.
    That is what cars do and what roads are for – they move people.

  13. Dave B, 18. April 2019, 15:45

    Proper cycle lanes are not dangerous. Cheapskate ones created merely by painting a line on a dangerous road are, of course, dangerous.
    But remember Josie Talofi, that bicycles move people also. Someone on a bike may be doing a journey that is just as important as someone in a car (or possibly more so, given the amount of frivolous and unnecessary car-travel that goes on), and the roads are just as much for them as for the car-user.

  14. Joise Talofi, 19. April 2019, 8:08

    Roads were designed for cars not for pedestrians or other. The Island Bay and Newtown to Kilbirnie cycle lanes are hazardous to car drivers as now there are more dangers such as less space where two buses cannot pass one another etc.

  15. CC, 19. April 2019, 9:51

    Hazardous to car drivers Joise? Try driving around most of the bus routes in the ‘older’ suburbs and you will discover that often two cars can’t pass each other while travelling in opposite directions, let alone buses. There are simple solutions but they would not be palatable to those who believe in the inalienable right to drive and park on city-owned real estate.

  16. Bobby Wiley, 19. April 2019, 12:34

    The only safe place for cycle lanes in a city like Wellington is when they are around the bays (where there is space).

  17. luke, 19. April 2019, 13:32

    Joise the vast majority of Wellington’s roads predate the motorcar. They were designed for movement, not cars.

  18. Bobby Wiley, 19. April 2019, 15:25

    Luke: the sealed roads in Wellington were specifically built for trucks and cars.

  19. Traveller, 19. April 2019, 15:53

    Bobby. What’s your point?

  20. Peter Kerr, 19. April 2019, 16:25

    The standard road reserve width is 100 links (20.12m). It varies more so in Wellington because of the terrain. Road reserves are set aside for movement. 100 links meant an ox and cart could complete a 180° turn in one movement. Sealed roads were introduced for cleanliness, faster water dispersion and durability. It’s a logical fallacy to maintain trucks and cars are the determinants in decisions to pave roads. (Rather like putting the cart before the horse)

  21. luke, 19. April 2019, 18:08

    Bobby, most of our streets pre dated the motorcar; they may have been sealed for the motorcar but they certainly weren’t built for them.

  22. Anabel, 20. April 2019, 6:53

    Now some cyclists with Us V them attitude are of the mind that cars should not be on roads or park on them? The weather, landscape & dangerous winds is why Wellington is not ideal for mass cycle transport and why cheap alternative public transport is the answer. [abridged]

  23. NigelTwo, 20. April 2019, 13:26

    @Joise. “Roads were designed for cars” eh?
    The photographic history would suggest otherwise. Take a look at the photograph in this article (taken in the 1930s)… What is the very first thing you notice? No cars.
    An internet search will find earlier photographs that have copyright limitations wrt to posting on Scoop. In 1905 the tram line down The Parade opened… Automobiles were very rare then.
    So roads have been re-purposed almost exclusively for car use, and it looks to be a bad job.

  24. Joise Talofi, 21. April 2019, 11:10

    Yes Nigel as you say roads were purposed almost exclusively for cars. Only the very wealthy had cars back then and yes there were fewer cars and they wanted or rather needed paved roads. They certainly were not sealed and paved for cycles.
    Far better if we saved the money and used it for a better purpose than cycle lanes in Wellington’s narrow hilly streets. [Abridged.]