Minimum parking requirements have been getting some long-overdue attention at central government level after the release of the Productivity Commission’s report recommending their removal from district plans.

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Finance Minister Bill English has also expressed his support for binning minimums. So last week Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter – a longtime advocate of removing MPRs – asked Housing Minister Nick Smith whether the government had any plans to legislate to remove them from district plans:

Smith’s responses were a bit evasive but there were still a few interesting points raised in the back-and-forth:

  • Smith said that it would be complex to legislate to remove MPRs as they are in district plans rather than the RMA. However, back in 2012 the government changed the RMA to specifically rule out blanket tree protection rules in district plans. So I can’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to do the same with MPRs.
  • He also said that the government was developing a National Policy Statement on Urban Development, presumably to encourage better, less costly rules. That’s the first we’ve heard of that – I wonder who they’re consulting?
  • Smith also criticised heritage protection rules as a barrier to intensification, which he described as “part of the answer”.

Overall a pretty interesting exchange, and it’s good to see the issue getting more attention.

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88 comments

  1. And ban parking alongside roadways or have completely separate cycle/walkways, or they will find they have more cars parked on roadways and be worsening one problem to fix another. Better to ban cars, save us all a lot of money and we would learn to cope.

      1. I had forgotten about that so they have them in residential areas as well as city streets, it’s 48 years since we left Auckland so have no idea what it is like today, just remember life before cars took over in the UK and it seemed so much less of a hassle to get on a bus or train, don’t think we have gained as much as we have lost by allowing cars to dominate our roads.

    1. Excellent to see the anti car brigade alive and well. Strange as it may seem to that sector of bloggers car parks are in big demand in apartment blocks. Just purchased an apartment with two parks and have been inundated with other tenants wanting to know if I’ll rent one or both of them. So the demand is clearly there. Much as you might want to wish it away, it’s real and it’s commercial.

      1. that’s a terrible argument.

        First, the removal of minimums does not prevent the supply of commercially viable car-parks. At all. Zip, zero, zilch, nada.

        Second, demand is not a good justification for regulatory intervention. There’s demand for icecream too … if anything the presence of demand suggests the market would supply parking of its own accord.

        Please. Try. Harder.

        1. While there’s nothing to stop developers providing carparks when they’re commercially viable, the market won’t respond perfectly. Some developers will probably have a pretty good idea of the value of parking, but some won’t, especially small-scale or one-off developers. Where minimum requirements are removed it would be good to have some sort of safety net to try to avoid people providing too much or too little parking through sheer ignorance. Maybe a requirement for parking demand to be at least considered in their application.

          1. Y’know, I reckon someone with hundreds of thousands worth of skin in the game and with an intimate knowledge of the marginal costs of additonal parking spaces might actually be better placed to determine (or find out) what a profit maximising strategy is going to be than a bureaucrat trying to make general rules for a whole city.

          2. Can you give an example of anywhere else we do this to businesses? I mean, where regulations tell them what services/facilities they have to make available to their customers. I am not talking about safety based requirements (which just can’t include MPRs as there is no safety aspect to them) but just convenience ones.

            We don’t tell cafe owners they must provide a minimum number of tables. We don’t tell hotels they must provide a minimum number of rooms. We don’t tell service stations they must supply a minimum number of pumps.

            What is so special about parking that we need to tell a private business what they are allowed to do with their property? It seems to me that this is just yet another subsidy for the car and fossil fuel industries.

            If the demand is there, the market will respond in some way. If not the apartment developer then some other private business. If you think developers are going to build an apartment block without thinking about parking then you must have an even lower opinion of property developers than I do.

          3. I agree. But I was thinking more of the small-scale people (eg. home-owner wanting to build an extension or subdivide) who have a relatively small amount invested and couldn’t even tell you the meaning of “marginal costs of providing additional parking spaces”. Your description “someone with hundreds of thousands worth of skin in the game and with an intimate knowledge of the marginal costs of additonal parking spaces” fits Council better than it does these people.

            The big developers will be fine – they’re already bound only loosely to District Plan parking requirements, as they can often provide less or more parking provided they can convince Council it won’t have a negative impact. The developers who are more tightly bound to parking requirements are those that don’t have the resources or know-how to do this, eg. the small-scale ones, and they’re the ones who might need some guidance in the absence of hard requirements.

          4. hold on, but small scale homeowners doing small developments doesn’t seem like a major problem? I mean, if there’s a gradual increase in demand for parking in areas because of this kind of low-level intensification then AT can simply adjust their management practices in a timely fashion, e.g. put in time-limits, parking permit schemes, and increase prices.

            And of course when AT adjusts policies in this way, then the people who are doing such development will start to think a little bit harder about whether they should provide on-site parking. In this way good parking management results in people taking more responsibility for the provision of parking than the current situation.

            Nutshell: I don’t small-scale intensification posing a problem from a parking management perspective.

    1. So local residents (who I’m guessing were opposing any development) claimed it no parking would cause congestion but actual analysis showed that wasn’t happening. Councillors then ignored that research and imposed them anyway. That’s an argument against having stupid elected officials rather than MPRs

      1. Matt there will always be stupid Councillors, that is just a rule. The current rules exist so the Council didnt have to build all of the parking people demanded. Take away the rule and people will demand the Council get building parking lots again. Dont expect the “they should all walk or ride a bike” argument to stop that pressure.

    2. I also understand that the Portland parking regulations removal assumed that significant money would be spent on public transport. When that didn’t happen, people… used cars. Surprise – you get the type of city you spend money on.

    3. sooo … that’s the best you can do? Someone, somewhere – when confronted with uninformed residents – decided to back-track on a good policy decision.

      P.s. Portland’s parking management policies are much less sophisticated than Auckland Transport’s, i.e. the former are not committed to pricing demand. As other commentators have noted that’s the primary reason this situation even arose.

  2. Government has decided that NPS’s provide a better pathway to control stuff like tree protection, so why not car parking minimums? Easy Peasy – if they chose.

  3. Good!! And a change like this should be accompanied by a requirement for travel demand management programmes too; I am casting my mind back to when ‘Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport’ came in in the UK (2000’s), this planning change brought in maximum parking restrictions and requirements for travel plans at the same time.

    More recently (at a conference this year), the Director of the Air Quality Programme for Sacramento, California, (which has State level requirements for employer TDM plans, as well as some road tolling), described TDM as their *most* effective tool for reducing emissions. For this reason (and because it has a strong enough evidence base to have made it into national policy in the UK and Europe, and into State level legislation in the USA), I believe it should have a far stronger statutory presence in New Zealand’s cities; given our country’s emissions profile is so heavily dominated by transport this, imo, is one of the biggest things that NZ could do to tackle climate change.

    TDM, (done well), delivers results. Remember the Waitakere Central Travel Plan? That achieved an 18% mode shift from driving to sustainable modes.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now 🙂

    1. The reality is that TDM only works if the developer or the company is really behind it. As a consent condition requirement it is absolutely useless in my view, as it will be a piece of paper saying “travel plan” and your staff will get some leaflets once a year if they are “lucky” and that is all that will ever happen.

      1. Yes, it needs to be done correctly for it to work well. Just saying ‘do a travel plan’ doesn’t result in much more than leaflets & green gloss.
        Sure, the best travel plans have very committed companies behind them, but some of these companies developed good travel plans in response to legal requirements.
        I acknowledge that there’s been plenty of leaflet tokenism, but there are also many examples where statutory travel plans/ transportation programmes have delivered great results.
        I’m not saying let’s just put it in policy, I’m saying let’s use the (30 year old) evidence base from successful TDM to write policy that delivers the outcomes we want.

    1. *** This comment has been edited for violating our user guidelines ***

      Ah, theories versus real life realities. Let’s just ban everything. Intelligent thought for all others than themselves shines through again.

      1. Yes but think how life would have been if they had banned the car from the start, all the lives saved, far less chance of catastrophic climate change, you probably have never experience how things changed when the car became all important. but we would not except the carnage from anything else so why from the car. my wife lost be only brother nearly 70 years ago and still has tears in her eyes when she thinks of him, killed by one of the only cars in the district driven by the local doctor.

        1. You don’t have to ban them. Just make sure that all the external costs of owning a car are directly passed on to the driver.

          No one wants to pay the true cost of having a vehicle on the road – certainly not the trucking industry.

          1. Good idea, make rail more competitive. I was reading about the true speed of traffic in the US and it estimated that if you take into account how long you work to pay for a cars running cost and add that time of your average travel time it worked out at 5mph or 8kph, I wonder how it would work out here, don’t know if it was just mileage costs or total cost, but makes a bike much faster.

  4. We could have a middle ground:

    Parking requirement is lowered if there is a bus stop within 5min walking distance.
    Parking requirement is removed if there is a major transport interchange within 5 min walking distance.

    Roadside parking is not required for intensified area, and replace by wider footpath, or make the road shared space.

    1. While good in theory, the problem with that is that it is a very shifting ground then, and an even more complex regulation for a developer or local resident.

      What if the bus stop has only a low-frequency service? What if the route MAY be proposed to be changed next year, away from the current route, but this it isn’t confirmed yet?

      That kind of rule creates uncertainty, which is really bad for development. Blanket rules (at least for each zoning area) are much better that way. That way you can include what you are trying to do – for example a town centre will always have (on average) much better PT than the side streets beyond it. So that area should get reduced / no parking minima (as the Unitary Plan proposes).

      1. It’s pretty clear where major bus routes are, have been and always will be. There are simple structural reasons why good PT routes go where they go, and why local culs de sac are always going to have little if any service.

        It’s not random, pretty clearly your main roads and through routes will always have good transit service.

        1. I disagree with your statement. Just look at Ian McKinnon vs View Road. Are you SURE that View Road will always keep its bus routes going through that wriggle? One day they may go back onto ian McKinnon, or the Light Rail may go there – and bang, suddenly View Road properties will see a lot less service convenience.

          1. I think you’re both right, or at least you’re talking at two different spatial scales.

            I think you’re correct to state that bus routes are a poor basis for policy on MPRs, because bus routes are somewhat fine grained and stops can move etc.

            On the other hand Nic is correct to state that good PT service is quite constant at larger spatial scales. In this context, taking buses off View Rd and running LRT along Dom Rd and Mt Eden Rd doesn’t really impact the quality of PT service in the wider area, even if it has some localised impacts.

          2. No I’m not, exactly the point! View Rd is an example of something that is not a main road, nor a major through route, and as you say a wiggle.

            Note that I didn’t say every bus route will always be there, I said it’s clear which would be there for ever and which wouldn’t.

            View Rd isn’t a candidate for a permanent transit route, in fact buses were never supposed to run there. They were temporarily diverted there in the 60s and got stuck, as it were.

            Anyway that’s an academic discussion. Dominion Rd and Mt Eden Rd will always be core transit routes, and all of View Rd is within close waking distance of one of those two.

          3. But the argument raised above was that a development on view road should have car parking minima set by the level of PT close by. My point was that under that rule, it would now score very well, even though it may well not do so in 5 years!

            Or do you want to make the proposed rule even more complicated by saying it applies only to “real” PT routes, and all PT routes that “were never supposed to run there” get discounted? You are making a complex rule even more arbitrary.

            My point was that the View Road detour shows why making something like a parking minima rule dependent on something easily changeable like a bus route is foolish. If you have such rules at all (not something I support by necessity), at least fix them to something that isn’t going to change anywhere as quickly, and that is easily able to be checked – like zoning.

          4. Well personally I don’t think there should be any such rules, there should be no minima or maxima at all. Let developers, renters, buyers work out how much parking they want.

            But indeed, all of View Rd is a close walk to either Dominion Rd or Mt Eden Rd, two streets that will clearly and naturally always have good transit. In this case it is clear that View Rd is a good candidate (but not because of the buses on View Rd itself, but because its between to major arterials leading to the CBD).

  5. If you ever live in Europe you may appreciate why they are considering this law. Where I live in Frankfurt, every meter of both sides of the street are covered by parked cars. They sometimes park half on the footpath. This is because the older buildings were not built with car parks. It is a horrible situation and really ruins the streetlive. When they build new apartments here, they tend to build with one car park per household, but that is not enough – no consider this: Frankfurt has a brilliant public transport network as well. The metro area has more rail track than New York’s metro area. There is an extensive tram and bus network on top of the underground and suburban trains, and it is well used. Yet so many people have cars.

    Why? Because they still need them. Some of the ideas here to ban cars altogether really would not work. That would simply harm the economy, especially for shops (which are suffering enough with online sales). But of course, adding two spots per household would increase the cost quite a bit, especially if they have to go underground. One solution is to have one spot per household on the property, and subsidized car parking stations either underground (or attractively) built over ground nearyby – possibly with the opportunity to buy spaces if chosen.

    Balance is what it is all about – we can (and should) build the best public transport possible, as that is really an ideal solution for many, but most people will still want to drive. This will only get stronger as self-driving electric cars come into the market in 15 years or so from now, so we also need to look at accommodating those, but doing it right.

    1. No one is seriously talking about banning the building of car parks on private property, just not forcing people to do so. If people are prepared to pay for car parks, they will be built. As for streets lined with cars being an issue, the solution to that is parking restrictions.

      1. I know that no government will ever ban building parking lots in new buildings (although some people will advocate that of course), but there is still a good argument to force a minimum amount of car parking spaces in a new building construction, lest you want Auckland’s streets to be blighted by street parking. The cars will still exist, so if they are not off-street, they will be on-street.

        However, no one also says that potential buyers of a property will have to actually by one or two car parks. The car park space can be sold to someone else if the property buyer doesn’t want it – there will always be someone who wants to buy an extra parking space! Likewise, a property buyer can buy both spots, then rent one or two out. It could be a good investment.

        1. “The cars will still exist, so if they are not off-street, they will be on-street.”

          And if they are on street parking is managed, as can so easily be done (and is done), they will not be on street

        2. “there will always be someone who wants to buy an extra parking space” Well, that depends on the price. If that car-park cost $50000 to build, and the market value of it was say $10000, then you would be asking the apartment buyers to subsidies that required car-park to the tune of $40000.

          I think we can trust in developers greed for profits, they will build more car-parks if their value is much more than the cost of construction.

          “Auckland’s streets to be blighted by street parking” Street parking isn’t necessarily bad, it calms the traffic, and provides utility for the car parkers. If we decide that a particular street is unsuitable for parking we can simply ban it by painting yellow dotted lines. If a street is constantly parked out we have tools to deal with that too, such as Time limits, use restriction (i.e. loading zones / taxi stands), parking fees etc.

          We will have to use such tools anyway in popular areas, as it is fairly impossible to prevent somebody from using their 3 car garage as, a workshop, or a band practice area, while parking their 5 cars on the street.

          1. “Auckland’s streets to be blighted by street parking” Street parking isn’t necessarily bad, it calms the traffic, and provides utility for the car parkers. If we decide that a particular street is unsuitable for parking we can simply ban it by painting yellow dotted lines. If a street is constantly parked out we have tools to deal with that too, such as Time limits, use restriction (i.e. loading zones / taxi stands), parking fees etc.

            Sorry, but you don’t live in a city blighted by on-street parking. I do. And I can tell you it is horrible. It doesn’t calm traffic in the slightest here, it causes jams and issues as everyone fights for the rare spot available. People are constantly driving in circles to find parking long after they would have just parked at home. People are constantly stopping and starting on the streets which causes holdups and impatience, and that impatience causes people to reckless drive at speed around cars trying to park causing accidents.

            Don’t believe hype saying otherwise, come and live for a few years in a city with limited off-street parking and see it for yourself. Don’t get me wrong. I love the urbanity of European cities and the density here, but parking is its biggest blight. The streets would be so much better if there were no on-street parking.

          2. “People are constantly driving in circles to find parking”

            This is a serious regularly / policy failure. Trawling for parking causes congestion (lots of drivers traveling slowly in circles, paying attention to parking bays rather than in front of them), excess pollution, excessive fuel costs, noise, and generally worsens the urban environment (not to mention frustrating for the driver). We have this in auckland too, Doubt it is as bad as in Frankfurt though. For some reason our council considers areas such as around the university to have no demand for parking after 6pm, when parking becomes free, with no time limit.

            I consider the ideal average daily peak occupancy rate for parking to be 80% (i.e. 1 in 5 bays free). If the council isn’t going to step in and use policy tools to create this average peak occupancy, then they are not using extracting maximum value from this resource.

            Is parking on the footpath not illegal / enforced there?

          3. ovbg – I have lived in Bucharest and believe me, its parking situation would make Frankfurt look like a dream. It is basically impossible to walk on the footpath in Bucharest unless it has bollards.

            The main reasons for this are that 1. there are no public parking buildings, 2. there is no enforcement of parking rules, and 3. Romanians think using public transport is for peasants.

            This must also be a Frankfurt problem as I have seldom witnessed parking issues like that in other German cities. You will have seen that Hamburg has a plan to basically eliminate cars from the centre, so that city obviously has a different policy to Frankfurt.

          4. Price the on street parking in such a fashion that the demand decreases so that 15% remain vacant at any time. Computers are great for carrying out these calculations and so with the prepay meter system i should be able to ensure that there are always 15% of spaces available within a defined area. Let pricing rule it after all the market knows best.

      2. Actually Matthew you wont be able to build parking buildings on your own land. You will only be able to build some parking to support your own development. If the neighbour doesnt build any and they park on your property then tough. You cant build even more spaces without getting a consent. The parking maximums will bite you.

          1. They are actually more stupid as they will apply to residential as well. So there will be a rule against not using your cars and leaving them at your home.

          2. “Well the stupidity of the policy depends on how binding they are.”

            Exactly and parking maximums are set so high that they almost never bind making them way less stupid than minimums.

        1. I know it’s bullshit right? I built a hot tub, but my neighbour didn’t build any hot tubs at all. Now my neighbour just uses my hot tub, because clearly I am powerless to do anything about my property rights and there is no way I could possibly stop him sitting in my jacuzzi every night.

          Clearly we need to force every person in New Zealand to build a hot tub so that my neighbour will have to have his own and won’t use mine. Actually better make that two hot tubs in every home, just in case the first one gets full on the week before christmas.

          1. Except of course you didnt build a public path up to your hot tub and invite strangers to use it if they wanted to visit and maybe buy something off you.

          2. There is a path to my hot tub, and people are certainly invited to use it, but no not public, nor strangers. Just like parking at the supermarket it’s neither public nor open to strangers, its my private property and my right (and duty) to manage who has access to it.

    2. Thanks ovbg, I was going to make a similar comment.

      I have just returned from my home town in the south of France – lots of older buildings which do not have car parks, plus new buildings where there is one park per apartment (most people live in apartments). The result is chaos, with cars parked on pedestrian crossings, at corners, on double yellow lines, or double parked. It is everywhere in the urban area – every single street is affected.

      There, young people mostly use PT or walk and often do not own a car, but from the moment people have families they have a couple of cars – which may or may not get used every day, but still need to be parked somewhere. Even the provision of good PT options does not remove the need to have cars – they may only get used on the weekend to take the kids to sport, or take grandma out for an outing, but they still need to be parked somewhere the rest of the time.

      If we are to have families embracing inner city living then we have to provide parking – it is probably less of an issue if apartment living is confined to the young and/or single market.
      Hopefully developers would understand that offering good parking options is a selling point – but having seen that the market sometimes does not deliver on what people need (and the end result) I would think that regulations need to be in place.

      1. From my experience of living there, France is the last country to follow for urban design. The cities are far too car dominated and, like NZ, French people all like to believe they are rural people.

  6. There has been an issue in Melbourne of a green apartment proposal being stopped because it had no car parking. The expectation is that some parking should be provided, even if it is much less than one space per apartment. (Strangely the objection was placed by another developer, not a resident). But looking at the site, it’s difficult to see how basement parking could be provided, because the site is so narrow. Even if basement parking could be provided, the entryway would consume 2 street parking spaces.

    In order to get these proposal through objections, there need to be other means such as covenants so that residents and any overnight visitors are not allowed to park on the street, and must instead make arrangements to lease private car park spaces. Apparently there is one such private car parking area near the proposed development. Perhaps the developers need to purchase this block to satisfy the objector.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/green-building-with-no-car-parking-thrown-out-by-vcat-for-having-no-car-parking-20151022-gkfia5.html

    1. The kind of objections scream of NYMBYism (actually in this case it may just be a developer trying to prevent this development from taking some of his customers).

      The principal that “I live in a desirable area close to amenities, but don’t want to share shared resources like street parking with any new residents because it may inconvenience me” really stifles development, and progress. I struggle to believe such complaints are taken seriously.

    2. “appear to be confused over price and cost”

      The two are clearly linked. If apartments can be sold for far more than they cost to build (after accounting for a reasonable profit margin to compensate the developer for the risk carried), then there will be super-normal profits to be made, and developers will build heaps more of that type of item until either price drops, through more supply in the marked, or costs rise due to a shortage of resources.

      Either way I would expect each car-park to add $30k – $50k in price to each development. If buyers are prepared to pay the market price for car-parks, go ahead, and buy as many as you want.

      I work next door to an apartment building that is being developed into a hotel. It has a massive basement car-park (mostly empty), with a generous (as city car-parks go) 2.2m stud height. Many trades people and delivery / removal vehicles to that site park (legally) on the street, or illegally on the footpath. Don’t know if more car-parking would help here. I have worked as a trades-person in the marine industry, when we worked on boats in the marina we would park the ute ages away, and load all the equipment we required into trolleys, and wheel them to the boat. Inconvenient, sure, took time that was rightly charged to our client, sure. But it never prevented us from doing our job.

      That said if residents want a loading dock & trades-person parking, and are willing to pay a premium for those over a development without them, there should be nothing stopping a developer from adding those amenities.

  7. Not sure how Generation Zero manage to confuse people with developers and appear to be confused over price and cost. When building an apartment building it is the developer who decides how many parking spaces to provide. Outside the CBD the rules are different. Given the inability of people to buy housing and apartment due to the high land cost to be honest the provision of 2 car parking spaces will not make any real difference to the price of an apartment though it may make a difference to the cost of one. Removing parking spaces reduces choice not increases it.

    As an apartment owner having 2 spaces but one car, I am able to have visitors park in my spare space rather than park on the road which is difficult because of the neighboring apartments. These having been built later have less than one parking space per apartment. As such the residents and their visitors park on the surrounding streets. As these are small apartments or bedsits there is not much room for visitors which is just as well ad these is no room on the streets. An new apartment block is being built next door with limited car parking this will cause further pressure on streets.

    I would prefer the onus on parking to be pushed back to the developer, banning street parking to allow the improved traffic movement on streets.

    1. I forgot to add in my post about having space for tradesmen to park as well which also needs to be considered. A number will not attend an apartment building unless they can park somewhere. The other parking requirement that should be considered is for moving vans/vehicles to allow people to move in and out of apartments safely.

      1. My apartment building was built in the CBD without a minimum parking requirement.

        We have one parking spot per two-bed apartment, with the three bedroom ones having two spots. In addition we have six visitor parks, plus two loading areas next to the lifts that are used by tradesmen and people moving in and out.

        That’s just fine by me, I only need one car park and am happy to share a bunch of visitor carparks, rather than having twice as many levels of parking.

        Not specifying a minimum doesn’t mean no parking, it means you have a choice to buy something that suits your needs.

    2. Removing parking minimums is not the same as reducing parking spaces. Removing a restriction can only increase choice, that is axiomatic.

    3. If MPRs were removed, there would be nothing to stop you from having two parking spaces, and nothing to stop apartment buildings from having spaces for tradesmen. If you were willing to pay for them, there would still be a developer willing to build those parking spaces for you.

      However, some people _don’t_ want or need those parking spaces, and MPRs prevent them from satisfying their preferences.

      You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say “I want choice about parking!” and then say “I don’t want others to have choice about parking!” Or rather, you can say it, but it’s incoherent.

      Lastly, as Matthew W pointed out up-thread, on-street parking management – e.g. parking metres, residents’ parking permits, and time limits – is a far more efficient way of managing parking spillover onto streets. So if you’re concerned about that, you should get in behind those policies.

  8. Minimums might need to be reduced but to remove them altogether is not very clever. There are plenty of apartment dwelling couples that have both people walking/cycling/busing/train/ferry etc yet still have and like to have a car for weekends or evenings etc. people like to be able to just get away from it all or do spur of the moment things. Sure they could pay for a carpark in another building but that is expensive, less convenient, less safe.
    From my own personal experience I have gone car free for extended periods and it’s great but at other times when I did have a car it was also highly frustrating when looking for an apartment and finding a great one only to find out it didn’t have any carparks!

    1. Why would parking minimums be required to obtain the outcome you describe. If the couples desire for a car-park in the building outweighed the typical cost of providing one (around $50 per week rent, or $30k – $50k if purchasing in CBD), then they would restrict their search to apartments meeting that criteria. That information is available on real estate listings, and developers understand people will pay a premium for it.

      Parking in another building can be much cheaper, but is less convenient.

  9. The south island had a rabbit problem so they created Rabbit Boards who worked to reduce numbers. Treasury in the mid 80’s reforms applied their economic genius to the issue by noting Rabbit Boards cost money and there was no rabbit problem anyway so the Government got rid of rabbit boards. Within two years they had a problem again. Same will happen with parking minimums. Within two years the middle classes will be pissed off and demanding that something must be done. So the Council will have to spend public money fixing the issue and maybe a rule will be brought in. Do you really think the rule was brought in for no reason at all?

    1. Minimum Parking requirements, area a cornerstone of “conventional parking policy” Basically that parking should be treated like toilets, every building should cater for its own needs, and its a major market failure if somebody goes to the building across the street to use a toilet because the ones in their building are too busy.

      Problem is, that parking is really expensive to provide compared to toilets, and only some people need it.

      Modern thinking is that if parking is priced to the market, that spill-over is not bad (i.e. I park at the Wilsons car-park up the street rather than in my office building), and that market pricing will reduce the overall demand for parking (i.e. I ride my bike to work as I am too cheap to shell out $15 to park at Wilsons)

      This leads to more efficient outcomes as society can achieve the same goals at lower cost. I.e. Wilsons carpark can be used by restaurant patrons in the evening, and office workers by day, rather than each providing a duplicate set of carparks.

      1. Except that Wilsons are the biggest bunch of greedy wanker scum out there! I’d pay more elsewhere that is less convenient than park in a Wilson carpark. Oh and they are also in it as land bankers long term that is actually the main part of their business model. So they are also holding back development.

    2. I suspect that many of us understand perfectly well why MPRs were implemented in the first instance.

      My understanding is that MPRs were implemented so as to manage the high demand for parking that followed from increased vehicle ownership during the 50s and 60s. At the time parking management practices and technologies were quite limited, so it may well have been a reasonable policy in terms of its costs and benefits.

      Now, however 1) land is considerably more valuable than it was then; 2) parking management practices and technologies are far more advanced; and perhaps most importantly 3) we know much more about their impacts.

      As a result, there is considerable evidence that the costs of MPRs exceed their benefits, especially in high density locations.

      In a nutshell: The benefits and costs of MPRs have changed. As has our knowledge of them.

      Conclusion: We should consider changing our policies on MPRs.

  10. I am all for removing parking minimums when public transport becomes as time-efficient and flexible as the private car.

    Once we have PT that is as good as driving, we should actually start banning on-street parking and slowly wind back auto-dominance.

    But *until that time*, we should not be introducing inefficient policies that impose massive time penalties.

    My morning commute is 7 minutes drive. It’s a 40 minute walk. Be about 20-25 on bus. Facts.

    1. Fact #1: The case for removing MPRs does not depend on public transport. It’s dependent on the high cost of meeting the requirements, which in turn stems from the high cost of land.

      Fact #2: By extension, even if no alternative transport modes existed the benefits of removing minimums would still exceed the costs in medium to high density urban environments.

      Fact #3: It’s not easy or efficient to “wind back” MPRs because MPRs result in low density, vehicle dependent urban forms where alternative transport modes are inefficient and hence struggle.

      Fact #4 Removing MPRs does not impose any time penalty of any form. You are still free to provide as much parking as you want, and drivers are still able to drive. Provided that they pay for the parking they use of course, which is fair.

      Fact score: Stuart 4, Lord 0 (I’ve checked with the judges and unfortunately arbitrary facts about your commute don’t count).

      Your turn …

        1. Also why do people consider a 40 min walk a bad thing. In a day and age where obesity is out of control and people pay 100s and more for fancy Gym’s is a 40 min walk really the end of the world for most people.

      1. I think you have nailed it there. The true purpose is to remove the convenience of using a car because a few people hate cars and hate that other people choose to use them. It will be interesting to see what impacts it has on land use decisions. I am guessing the low cost land uses that are priced out by having to provide their own parking will multiply and the higher value land uses will choose to locate outside existing centres.

        1. Not sure how restoring common law and natural law private property rights by removing a regulation that forces people to provide parking at the expense of more housing or cheaper houses or even a nice garden instead allowing market prices to shape parking is anti-car.

        2. that’s a very unsophisticated argument.

          Regulations, such as MPRs (and building height limits and landscaping rules etc), will lower the value of development. They do this by forcing a profit-maximising developer to do something they don’t want to do – thereby reducing its profitability.

          Moreover, evidence (not just by myself) shows that not only do MPRs reduce the financial value of individual developments, but they also have economic costs which exceed their economic benefits, i.e. they reduce economic welfare.

          Hence removing MPRs will 1) add value to individual developments and 2) improve social welfare. Or put another way, MPRs contribute to low value development patterns and leave us all worse off.

          P.s. You guys have something of a habit of turning conventional (and commonly accepted) economic concepts on their head without any research or analysis. Thumb sucks don’t maketh good policy!

    2. The time to drive to work doesn’t include the time you spend working to make it possible. I would have thought the advantage of living in a city relieved you of the necessity for a car, and why I can’t see the need for parking requirements on new builds, or does a car give status.

  11. Yes, get rid of the minimum parking requirements. It is adding to the cost of housing and it reduces the number of apartments that can be built.

  12. Well I’m not advocating minima based on PT access, I say no minima and let developers, buyers and renters work out what they do or don’t need.

    However to me it is clearly obvious that Diminion Rd and Miunt Eden road will always have good transit, so a street like View Rd within walking distance of both is a place where you could confidently develop or live without someone telling you you need one car per bedroom.

  13. Amazing how many people on this thread don’t think that they are able to figure out how many carparks they need and then buy an appropriate property.

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