Wellington Scoop

“Competing demands for space:” Wellington preparing to change its parking policies

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is seeking community views on the future management of on-street and off-street parking in the capital.

With the recent announcements about Let’s Get Wellington Moving, the city’s transport system will be transformed in the years ahead. How we manage parking now, and in the future, is an important part of every transport system according to Transport Strategy and Operations portfolio leader Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman.

The Council is inviting people to have their say through an online forum which begins today. People will be asked to comment on issues like parking designations, number of car parks, and the duration of stay. You can comment by selecting the parking policy project at letstalk.wellington.govt.nz.

Councillor Calvi-Freeman says parking is an issue that people have strong views on, so we encourage comment and feedback. The information gathered will inform the development of a revised parking policy that we will formally consult on later this year.

“We recognise that private vehicles will continue to be a necessary part of the transport mix, and the Council’s role is to make sure transport choices are balanced and integrated to support the city’s growth over the long-term. Parking is one use of public space, and there are many competing demands for this space.

“In many cases demand exceeds supply, resulting in conflicts, poor safety outcomes and inefficiencies. How the Council manages its parking impacts the use of public transport, congestion on the road network, the use of public space, and the amount of carbon emissions,” he says.

The Council has set a vision for Wellington to become a connected eco-city that is people-centred with a dynamic central city. There are a number of initiatives that support this vision and that encourage walking, cycling and public transport over other modes of transport and move more people with fewer vehicles.

The Council manages approximately 11% of total available parking spaces in the central area. Of these, approximately 900 are off-street and 3,200 are on-street. The remaining parking spaces in the central area are managed privately, nearly half of these have restricted access, such as employee parking only.

The Parking Policy Review will consider the on-street and off-street parking policy settings controlled by Wellington City Council in the Parking Policy 2007 and the Mobility Parking Policy 2005.

Councillors recently requested a more in-depth look at parking in the wider Newtown area where transport changes are planned and parking is under pressure. From late July, there will be opportunities for people who live or have a special interest in this area to share their thoughts on how on-street parking in Newtown could be managed differently.

CofC welcomes “overdue” parking review


  1. greenwelly, 31. May 2019, 11:11

    The Council is inviting people to have their say through an online forum which begins today. Er, the link is where??
    [The council says comments can be made at letstalk.wellington.govt.nz. It describes this as “a safe space to view information and participate in decisions.” ]

  2. Interesting to see WCC’s framing of the issue – how do we share scarce public space? Is storage of private property (car parking) the best use, when there are many competing demands? What is a fair price for parking, to guarentee availability?

  3. Diane Calvert, 31. May 2019, 14:43

    Are we ready to remove more parking from the CBD? Do we need more park & ride? “Let’s talk.” [via twitter]

  4. HG, 31. May 2019, 15:28

    We need the buses fixed so that we can actually use them before more changes are made. It’s no use continuing to build a strategy on inadequate foundations.
    I’d love to be out of my car and if the options for PT worked I would be.

  5. John Gill, 31. May 2019, 16:25

    During the last few years, as a result of earthquakes and council neglect, we have lost thousands of carparks in Wellington. Our councillors don’t/won’t grasp that the motor vehicle is the primary means of transport.

  6. Concerned Wellingtonian, 31. May 2019, 17:43

    Both HG and John Gill rightly point to solutions which our Councillors could get on with.

  7. JB, 31. May 2019, 21:15

    Many people already pay for onstreet parking in residents’ parking zones. Problem is that the council doesn’t enforce the scheme. Consequently, many of us who pay for the right to park in these areas are unable to get parks because of the freeloaders who park there without a permit.

  8. TrevorH, 1. June 2019, 7:45

    Retailers and service providers in the CBD should be very concerned.

  9. AM, 1. June 2019, 14:06

    Totally agree with HG. The bus debacle has driven people back into their cars – so they can get to where they have to go. The bus system MUST be fixed as the first priority. It will still take years to get people back into the PT habit, having lost it.

  10. Peter S, 1. June 2019, 14:37

    All very well saying we need to provide better amenities for car users, and of course the business community will be trumpeting this loudly. But, people have to face the fact that we can’t keep allowing more growth and having the same rate of car usage. Even if the city gets the 4 lanes to the planes, all those extra cars are going clog up Wellington streets. The ONLY way to reduce congestion will be to actively discourage people from private car use. Yes, people pay their rates/taxes and have the right to choose their mode of transport, but equally the citizens of Wellington have the right to a liveable, thriving, sustainable environment, not one clogged with busy roads.

  11. Kara, 2. June 2019, 17:51

    It’s interesting that the same councillor who interrupted my submission to the WCC (on bus services and proposed parking charges) is the same one who seems to disregard the effect that the bustrastrophe has had on suburban Wellingtonians. If we still had the bus service which was in operation before July 2018 then we wouldn’t need to resort to cars.

  12. Kara, 2. June 2019, 18:14

    the letstalk.wcc.govt.nz website requires us to register before we can give feedback on their survey. If feedback is to be sought then surveys should be more open.

  13. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 2. June 2019, 23:21

    I didn’t interrupt your submission, Kara. The Committee chair did. You made an unfounded allegation which she, I and several other councillors objected to.

    I know the effect the “bustastrophe” has had on suburban Wellingtonians. I was responsible for the last major bus network reorganisation, in July 1991, which gave Wellingtonians the best bus service in New Zealand for 27 years until July 2018. Meanwhile you lectured me on how to change the fare structure to one that simply wouldn’t work and seemed aggrieved when I told you so.

  14. Marion Leader, 3. June 2019, 7:41

    Yes, Kara. There are so many cars on the road because the buses have been so bad since July 15, a day which shall live in infamy.

  15. HG, 3. June 2019, 18:27

    @Chris. I hear what you are saying. It sounds like you have something to offer. Please take a lead on fixing what has happened as right now it feels like everyone official has just gone quiet and we are being left to live with it.

  16. Paul, 4. June 2019, 14:04

    @ Dianne Calvert; Park & Ride will only work if the “Ride” is there. Until the current shambolic public transport (both buses and trains) is restored to something like we used to have a year ago, this is not a viable solution.

  17. George, 4. June 2019, 20:30

    Mr Calvi-Freeman’s utopia is out of touch with reality.
    Wellington is a very hilly city with frequently inclement weather. Most people live a significant distance from public transport. On a wet windy day few are willing to cycle to a bus stop or walk into the city, especially parents with children. Parking in the CBD and retail areas of the city is already fraught, with large numbers traveling to the Hutt or North City to shop where parking and shopping is encouraged.
    The latest closure of the left-hand turn from Cobham Drive into Evans Bay Parade appears to be designed to cause further congestion for traffic coming from the airport. No doubt this will be used as further justification for banning cars in the city. Wellington is not Copenhagen, the topography and climate are very different.

  18. Cr Daran Ponter, 4. June 2019, 22:04

    I stick by my view that a pedestrian/cycling overpass is better for all users. This notion that Wellingtonians are lazy and won’t use an overpass needs to be challenged. A well designed structure should attract more use of the Lyall Bay waterfront while ensuring a safer journey for all users.

  19. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 4. June 2019, 23:08

    HG: Thanks. As most people know, GWRC is responsible for the buses; WCC has very little power to intervene and can only seek to assist and positively influence GWRC to restore Wellington’s bus services to the pre-July 2018 levels of citywide convenience and reliability. As part of their review, GWRC have engaged a very capable officer/contractor who worked with me on the 1991 review and who has since been involved in the great improvements to Auckland’s bus network. I’ve met with him and made some suggestions, which I hope he will be able to incorporate into his recommendations.

    George: I’m far from a utopian. Wellington already has a very large percentage of its workers arriving each day by bus or train, with smaller numbers walking or cycling. Even a small percentage of drivers making the switch to public transport, walking or cycling will take pressure off our roads and parking spaces. I was not in favour of the trial closure of the left slip lane from Cobham Drive into Evans Bay Parade and have made this point clear to the WCC officers.

    Daran: I completely agree that a footbridge would be better for all users. However, the signalised crossings would cost about $250k, while an overbridge would be about 10 times that amount. The cost difference could be put to all sorts of beneficial transport and accessibility uses around the city. (And we’re talking about the rocky Evans Bay foreshore here, not sandy Lyall Bay.)

  20. HG, 5. June 2019, 6:29

    @Chris. Thanks for replying. Yes I also know GWRC is in charge of transport but WCC needs to be advocating for Wellington with GWRC. It’s good to hear you are doing this and please keep on it. Every single day the bustatrophe makes life more difficult and it has just gone on and on.