NZ’s most expensive staff car park, funded by Wellington ratepayers

Media release from NZ Taxpayers’ Union
The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered what is probably the most expensive staff car park in the country, located at Z Energy on Customhouse Quay in Wellington.

Between 2010 and 2012, the Wellington City Council spent $100,000 on a zero-emissions vehicle program, and only thing to show for it is a ‘charging station’ white elephant. Most days it is occupied by conventional vehicles owned by the staff at the Z Energy station.

“Instead of being used to charge electric vehicles, the ratepayer funded ‘charging station’ is used as a staff car park for the service station attendants,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.

“A member of the public who contacted our tip-line, claims to walk past the charging station every weekday and only once this year has an electric vehicle been parked there.”

“Even without paying for the charging station no one uses, the economics of the scheme was always dodgy. Wellington ratepayers were paying the same amount per year to lease an electric vehicle, than it costs outright for a brand new fuel efficient hybrid. Without the Council’s electric car, there is even less demand for the charging station.”

“We asked the Council to provide any information which would show that ratepayers got value for money. All we got back was a report that concluded that the program was useful as a ‘communications tool’. The $100,000 of ratepayer money was used for green PR, not reducing emissions.”



  1. Maximus, 1. May 2014, 6:07

    You would think that as Wellington has a Green Mayor, as a city we would be a bit smarter about the energy saving green angle of things. I’d expect stupidity like this from a right wing old Tory dinosaur like Morrison, but I’m pretty staggered to hear of this happening under Wade-Brown’s watch. Very, very disappointing, if the moves our city council makes are just greenwash, and not useful, real attempts to develop sustainable policies. This one stinks.

  2. Selwyn, 1. May 2014, 10:21

    Wade-Brown’s “green” credentials are proving to be a sham, If anything, this fiasco and the Takapu road disaster are showing the Wade-Brown mayoral style to be more in keeping with what you’d expect from ACT or National than from a so called “green mayor”. Our council needs to step up and take responsibility for the mistakes, and stop all the petty politicing and get on with keeping Wellington one of New Zealand’s most desirable cities to live in.

  3. Richard MacLean, 1. May 2014, 13:14

    Z Energy paid for the charging point. The Taxpayers Union has been trying to tout this story around the media for a couple of days and, not surprisingly, most of the media has walked away from it – given the Taxpayers Union’s reputation for spinning nonsense. cheers Richard MacLean WCC Communications

  4. peter@east-welly, 1. May 2014, 14:31

    My dear Richard, at it again, standing up, pontificating on behalf of the City Council. Always playing the man, not the story. Sad.

  5. Brent Efford, 1. May 2014, 23:42

    Selwyn and Maximus – you are absolutely right!
    To be fair, Celia never campaigned under the Green Party banner, but she did exploit the image. But as soon as she reneged on the light rail policy she was elected on, and concentrated on cuddling up to the Chamber of Commerce on trade junkets etc, it was all over as far as environmental credibility is concerned.
    Accepting the Regional Council’s plan to junk the trolleybuses – the only actual (albeit token) progress we have made towards “Wellington 2040″ and a “carbon neutral capital” – just confirms it.

  6. Maximus, 2. May 2014, 6:41

    I’m happy to hear that Z Energy have paid for the charging point, although that seems to be at odds with the original reporting that the City Council paid $100,000 for the program ? And I don’t believe that Mayor Wade-Brown’s credentials are a sham – she has totally genuine beliefs that we need to create a sustainable future for our city, and for the world. We need more electric cars running on our streets – not just the four cars that we have at present (yes, I reckon there are only 4 in total – one with the Council, one with Meridian, one at Beca, and one privately owned). Wellington has only this one small chance with a green Mayor to get green activities in place – chances are high that a conservative may get in next time – and so we should be making huge strides at present, towards sustainability, rather than small shuffling steps.

  7. ex-Diesel, 2. May 2014, 13:20

    Relax perk busters. The EV programme has been a wonderful success – ask the NZ Post courier who has been zipping around town for years now delivering packages with no carbon or any toxic emissions. Or ask Wellington property magnate Ian Cassels – he knows a winning idea when he sees one! EVs are about the best idea going around .. for about 110 years now. Unfortunately the legacy of the Rockefellers’ Standard Oil has forced oil on us for about that long as well. The EV was a “pilot” and it has helped show Wellington the way – thousands of residents are now receptive to EVs and today you can go down to your Mitsubishi dealer and buy a fantastic vehicle called the Overlander PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid EV) and drive emission free. I reckon you’ll see these cars queuing up for that EV charger in the weeks ahead. {The charger courtesy of Z Energy of course and not funded from council}


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