Parking minima is appealing as people see the need for a household to have parking as inevitable, so it follows that as we intensify that we need buildings to provide parking in proportion to the new households who would move in. But in reality, where people live and how they get around is reflective of the price of doing so. Cars are the most space intensive form of transport, and as space in our city gets scarcer and scarcer as the city grows, it will get more costlier. Meanwhile, electric micro-mobility options like scooters, bikes, and everything in between get cheaper and cheaper. But parking minima force people to pay the cost of car parking regardless, making (particularly centrally located) housing more expensive, and distorting people’s transport choices towards private car use (which imposes fairly large costs upon society).

The highest demand parts of New York City have very low car ownership as the cost is much higher.

A year ago, in advance of the September 2020 committee meeting, council planners released their recommendations for the Council’s response to NPS-UD’s Policy 11, which states that “the district plans of tier 1, 2, and 3 territorial authorities do not set minimum car parking rate requirements, other than for accessible car parks”

Unlike much of the NPS (which is unfortunately open to wide interpretation), policy 11 is clear: you have to abolish parking minima. Consequently, the planner’s recommendation was straightforward: “that the Committee recommends that Council removes all provisions of the district plan that set minimum car parking rate requirements, other than for accessible car parks”.

The planners noted that the only legal alternative to removing them immediately would be to remove them at some later time (but no later than the deadline of February 2022), but advised “this option would create a prolonged period of uncertainty and place ongoing compliance costs on resource consent applicants and council in the intervening period before the on-site car parking requirements are removed from the district plan.”

Unfortunately, none of these were the words of Auckland Council.

Instead, this was the advice of Hutt City Council. Only after dragging their feet for a year have Auckland Council planners finally released their proposed response to NPS-UD (despite pleas from planning chair Chris Darby wanting it done and dusted by April), and the result is clearly worse-off for it. Rather than taking the government urban development direction to heart — as Hutt City did — AC planners have instead recommended a handful of questionable but mostly harmless changes around regulation of access and parking for bikes, supply & deliveries, and pedestrians. But most notably, they’ve found a loophole: by mandating that new developments have electric car charging facilities, they can force developers to continue to provide space for car parking under the guise of emissions reduction.

Council officers blatantly ignoring the spirit of the NPS has been an ongoing trend over the previous months’ planning committees (as we’ve written about here and here), but so is being outdone by the Hutts: Upper Hutt is currently consulting on allowing at least 6 stories across about half its urbanised area. 

It’s reasonably unlikely that retaining parking minima via charging stations is going to fly with the Environment Court. It’s likely that this approach will expose the Council to years of litigation with property developers like Kāinga Ora and central government, possibly with large legal costs awarded against them. Despite this, the only financial implications that they are advising councillors that the elimination of car parking minima will have upon council books are the cost of greater enforcement which may need to be conducted by AT (also conspicuously missing: revenue generated by that enforcement). It’s extremely unclear that this approach will have any effect beyond delaying the inevitable, and it’s perplexing why council officials are asking councillors to start this fight.

In fact, it’s not clear that council officials are serving councillors well at all in the implementation of NPS-UD.

Contrary to Auckland Council’s advice that we need more car parking to save the planet, Hutt City planners correctly identify that “removing parking minimums from the district plan will have a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as parking minimums mandate an oversupply of parking that acts as an incentive for driving motor vehicles. Removing parking minimums dis-incentivises driving motor vehicles, supports active and public transport, and supports compact urban development which in turn promotes lower energy use.”

The Auckland Council advice says that we have to do this because people will own cars anyway, so we need to make sure that developers are providing infrastructure for it. The infrastructure we build drives how people navigate the city. By making poor assumptions about how people navigate our city in the future, and building infrastructure around those assumptions, we are accidentally creating self fulfilling prophecies. This is the mistake we’ve repeatedly made when building our highway system as we’ve ignored induced demand. 

More fundamentally, the approach that planners are asking councillors to endorse robs people of choice. The officials dismiss the decision to live car-free as a choice only made by 7.4% of households in Auckland (which amounts to more than a hundred thousand people across the city). To use that statistic – which largely represents how people buy cars when forced to buy car parking – to claim that this will continue to be how Aucklanders choose to get around if we were to give people choice is incoherent. As the relative costs and benefits of different transport modes shift, so will people’s transport habits – and as the climate continues to change, it’s extremely unclear why this is a fight worth picking.

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128 comments

  1. Relentlessly grim, the constant battle for Auckland Council and Transport to wake up and notice that the winds have changed

    1. Planning jobs with local government are long term, secure and very stable. Expect a few John Roughan sleepers who have been there for decades.

    2. What exactly has changed?
      The majority of NZ want to own and drive cars and don’t much care what a few woke wasters think.
      Getting rid of mins will just make housing developments more profitable and result in more cars parked on roads, which is worse for cyclists.
      The car haters need to wake up and smell the hydrocarbons, people don’t care if the Maldives sink under the ocean, they just want to enjoy the thrill of owning a car.
      Cry, complain, bash out an angry response on Twitter, but I am still right.

      1. Getting rid of expensive parking minimums will also result in higher density housing and discourage sprawl. Faced by higher costs for a carpark, or the need to walk further to park, some households (admittedly not all) will reduce the number of cars they own, and a few will opt out of car ownership entirely. Landlords will also consider whether space used by cars could be converted to housing.
        Charging market rates for on-street carparking would also discourage car ownership. Where I live a few on-street carparks for residents make life difficult for everyone else using the road, and in my view are hard to justify.

        1. “Landlords will also consider whether space used by cars could be converted to housing.”

          Unlikey, as the spaces would not be habitable without huge conversion costs. Its easier for the landlords, or developers, to just charge extra for the parking spaces.

  2. It’s an unfair comparison, to be honest. Upper Hutt may sound like it is a city… but it is really only a dormitory suburb of Wellington, which is almost an hour’s drive away. The ‘main street’ has, from memory, one multi-storey office building about 6 storeys tall, while the rest of the street consists of mainly dying shops with many empty. It is a sad little place. The busiest place in town is the McDonalds – it’ll be going off like crazy this morning in level 3.

    Upper Hutt has an excellent train service into Wellington 2-3 times an hour, but it is not really any hardship to ban car parks from new development there, because…. well, there isn’t really any new development there. Ironically, many / most people in the Hutt do own cars, and treat the residents of Wellington to a display of their loud exhausts and hooning skills most Saturday nights, as they drive into the real city and then race back again to avoid the cops…

      1. Sounds like Upper Hutt might actually be going somewhere, this will help with affordable housing and good public transport links to Wellington.

        1. Upper Hutt actually has a lot going for it. Yes it’s a little sleepy now, but the summer weather is generally 5-10 degrees warmer than in Wellington City, has Brewtown, close proximity to the Waiarapa, easy train access to Wellington City and has relatively more affordable housing (at this moment) than most of urban Wellington. Their plan change around intensification will spark alot of development and CBD rejuvenation too over the medium-long-term. A little bogan, but I like that as an ex-Westie from Tat South.

      1. And a lovely new stretch of double tracked lines! Upper Hutt, Silverstream, Trentham and Wallaceville Station has also recently been renovated and looks great. The recent works done on the Hutt Line is already making a massive improvement in its reliability. I think UH has very high potential for medium density projects being placed along the railway corridor, I think it is a pity that most of the new development in Wallaceville is all low density though.

    1. Miss mfwic and her partner bought a new build in the Wallaceville estate and commute to Wellington by train. I have stayed with them and can report that your dismissal of Upper Hutt as having dying shops is rubbish. When I have been there it has been thriving.

    1. Auckland council is looking for other ways to deliver climate and environmental outcomes. AT is not equipped for the new world.

      AT will shortly be facing an extinction level event.

  3. Also worth noting that AC has now also sent out an update to consent planners telling them to ignore Policy 11 (car parking) of the NPS when processing consents.

    1. This is a terrible call from AC! Under RM law, the policies of the NPS-UD, including those relating to car parking, already hold legal weight (both at consenting stage and in the Courts). All that it would take is someone to challenge a consent without car parking being declined in the Environment Court to sort it out. But that will just end up costing AC and applicants more time and money. Another example of inaction and bad decision making from AC.

      1. It’s bonkers that the councils lawyers think they can’t enforce bans in car parking in a pedestrian mall, but that they can enforce bans on car free homes that have been explicitly overturned.

      2. Yes, another example of the legal teams furthering goals that aren’t actually Council’s goals, and certainly aren’t goals that serve our children or future generations. Head in sand planners advised by head in sand lawyers.

  4. Quite aside from the costs of providing car parking in high density environments, what guarantee is there that a private parking space with electric charging facilities will be used exclusively by electric vehicles?

    Unless there is rigorous enforcement, anyone with access to this space will continue to use it for whichever type of car they happen to own.

    An electric charging bay occupied by a two-tonne diesel ute (that is used for daily transport) is NOT a “sustainable” outcome!

  5. I am the very reverse of an idelogical ‘small govt’ type, I believe firmly in value of good regulation. BUT, the very first good regulation, the one that always must be tested very had before rejecting, is no regulation. By far the most elegant and efficient one. And here, surely, it would be very hard to move past it. If the market wants paking, it’ll pay for it, developers, public and private, are very very focused on customer desire, there’s a great deal at stake. All the council can achieve by getting ahead of this and decree it to be alway so and forever is market distortion, reduced dwelling supply, increased dwelling cost, and all the social ills that flow from that. Stand down planners.

    As for charging. Sure, by all means, how hard would it be to write; ‘where parking is supplied (bike or car) a quality electrical feed and outlets shall be provided, at one plug per space with sufficient capacity for 100% uptake.’

    Probably worth debating whether this should include fast chargers, or just a system able to support them and that remains the owners responsibility, am open to arguments about that.

    But there’s absolutely no need to muddle the requirement for charging with a requirement for parking. The former is obviously only required where the later is wanted. All bike parking areas should certainly need to be wired now though (this is low cost to include at time of building for bike- ordinary plug, low draw).

    As for the planners using our destructively high current level of car dependency as the reason it must be FORCED to be continue through regulation, perhaps council could send them all off to do a few philosophy logic papers. Or more to the point it seems like this department suffers from a lack of skills around the purpose of what they do, too much time enforcing regs and not enough to strategise about their pupose?

    Both Council and AT seems critically limited at the strategic level; clinging to the status quo is not a strategy, or at least it isn’t likely to be a successful one in these times of tumult and change.

    1. Ha, I am the opposite: In general I think the less regulation the better, but in this case I think no regulation will just mean people expecting to park their cars in the street for free. I would be more than happy for the council to completely remove all on-street parking (or at least make it a max of 120 minutes), in which case the regulation isn’t needed (if you want a park you need to pay for it when you buy/rent the building). But that will never happen.
      Personally I think on-street parking is one of the worst features of Auckland; imagine the cycle network, trees, and safe streets we could have without it. No parking minimums will just make it even worse.

      1. But how is this a problem? Street parking is controllable. Put a price on it. The whole issue here is that parking is generally over supplied and undercharged. That’s already changing, it is not only possible but already the case in many places.

        The least useful thing to do is push up the cost of housing, and the endless social cost of more driving by mandating more.

        More parking = more driving = more public spending on roads and parking, and crashes and illness and spread…

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-08-31/why-free-parking-is-bad-according-to-one-ucla-professor

        1. Yes I can see the more parking = more driving issue. But I think it is outweighed by the less parking = more street parking dependents = much harder to take it away or price it = no cycle lanes = car dependence.

        2. Hey you have summarised the two positions well there, Jimbo.

          I disagree with you about which one is the bigger problem, and I think how cities have matured into places with lots of car-light apartment dwellers supports my conclusion.

          Are you jumping to that conclusion only based on Auckland’s capability for good decision-making and change to date, or do you have something else to back it up? If this is all it is, I suspect you’re allowing present AT incompetence at parking management to mar your understanding of evidence from elsewhere about how to do it well.

    2. Side note – I don’t really think provision for fast charging is necessary in a private carpark, and certainly shouldn’t be mandated. 99% of people parking there will be doing slow charges overnight (on Day/Night power plans).

  6. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/supermarket-plans-fast-tracked-against-advice-of-council-planning-experts/7QOLQHNH5IUJEMZLBYIV54OI74/

    A council planner said “Dominion Rd has the highest number of deaths and serious injury crashes for motorcycles on arterial roads in Auckland, largely due to right turns at intersections. More right turns could make matters worse.”

    To me, this is an example of planners reaching for straws in their desperation to stop large scale developments in the inner city, I haven’t heard any more concern about right turns on to Dominion Road and motorcycles since this application. The Planning departments need a clean out, they’re actively frustrating elected council and government policy.

    1. ” I haven’t heard any more concern about right turns on to Dominion Road”

      Have we assuming that these deaths are caused by right turns ONTO Dominion Road? Perhaps these deaths are caused by car drivers making a right turn OFF of Dominion Road into a side street, or into their car driveway, without first looking see if there are no cyclists, pedestrian or motorcycles who might be approaching.

  7. While I am a free market type of guy, where the council provides free on-street parking I wonder if this is a bit of an own goal that will just make on-street parking more of an “amenity” and even harder to take away. Realistically almost every household in Auckland does own a car, except maybe in the city centre and Heidi. So in almost all cases not providing a park will force people to park in the street, and they won’t be happy when they see yellow lines and cycle ways instead of parking. Maybe the yellow lines and cycle ways need to come first?

    1. But you can imagine change, Jimbo?

      Household access to a car rose by 12.4% between 2006 and 2018. We can also shift in the other direction, and we need to. Apparently it’s currently 7.4% of households without a car; that will go up as more and more people choose car-light lifestyles and fewer young people bother to get drivers’ licenses.

      There’s no time to talk about doing something before other things. Council have dragged their feet so long, we need to do everything concurrently. And why do you care more about drivers and their thoughts of yellow lines that children, and their need for a stable climate future?

      1. “why do you care more about drivers and their thoughts of yellow lines that children, and their need for a stable climate future?”

        Wild how people are concerned with their ability to get to and from their jobs, which they need to afford to have kids.

        1. Yeah, exactly. Streets clogged with the moving and parked cars that excessive parking supply induces gets in the way of people’s ability to get to and from their jobs, as well as do all the other important things that people do.

      2. “why do you care more about drivers and their thoughts of yellow lines” – Heidi, I really don’t, I hate off street parking, we park our cars on our own property like I think everyone else should do (or they shouldn’t own a car). But the more people that use an “amenity” like off street parking, the harder it is to take away, being a democracy and all. If no houses had car parking for example, you would find it very hard to convince 50% of people to vote for a mayor / party wanting to take away off street parking.

        1. Yes, I understand that. There needs to be joined-up thinking, with consistent communications explaining where we need to head, and why, and all the coordinated actions to achieve it.

        2. Two things.
          1. The end of forced parking supply will not end parking supply. Builders will still build it where there’s a market. Planners create nothing! They can only stop things.
          2. Any excessive pressure on street side parking can be responded to with pricing and regulating, we do this already.

          There are no good reasons to force costly oversupply.

        3. Also the costs of driving are about to start getting more real. Pricing and more carbon taxing are the only certainties from here as the realities of climate change bear down on society and on policy. Especially from international treaties and threat or imposition of tariffs on our hopeless response so far. Private vehicle use is the number target.

      3. It is easy to imagine AT screwing this up.

        As you pointed out, almost all households own at least one car. The reason why developers can currently build units without parking is because the residents will just park on street. If on-street parking is full, cars end up on berms and footpaths. Now how is that child supposed to get through?

        And no, until you get a meaningful amount of access to the city around you even without a car, people will not give up their cars.

        Abolishing parking minimums requires regulating on-street parking. I think the council knows this, goes like “oh, shit”, and then looks for a loophole.

        1. Council are prioritising ease for people with a car to park instead of the needs of people to live in a safe and unthreatening environment.

  8. Do we have any links to the actual document? Which outlines the minutia:
    Ie: are the new ev minimums treated exactly the same as the old mimimums for the various zones. Or are there less?

    Also what the hell is the point of electing officials if all the decisions are made by technocrats underneath them, totally ignoring the leadership. Why do we even have elected officials if this is the case.

    1. It dates back to the 90s ideology when having elected politicians making decisions or “choosing winners” to use the language of the time was considered very bad indeed. So just about every operational aspect of local government was either privatised or placed in a new, mostly independent organisations controlled by a CEO. The councillors were reduced to bystanders although they still had to step up/take the blame when things went noticeably wrong.

      1. “It dates back to the 90s ideology when having elected politicians making decisions or “choosing winners” to use the language of the time was considered very bad indeed.”
        I’m really surprised to hear that, that is essentially the whole point of politicians. Sure we need technocrats to do most of the work, but at the end of the day, some big calls have to be made, and that is the place of a leader. Not someone whos name is scrubbed from all public documents and OIA requests.

        There must be some power that the council has over these people though. Can they fire them? or is there literally no accountability for decisions made.

        1. Zippo is right. the elected members have almost no power. I was one in Rodney many years back – 2004. The members can’t sack anyone.
          They can only advise the CEO about issues on Council agendas. At Rodney talking to staff was frowned upon.

        2. “There must be some power that the council has over these people though.”

          “Can they fire them?”

          Answer, no

          ” or is there literally no accountability for decisions made ( by planners and CCO staff )”

          Answer, correct.

        3. They can reject the proferred advice. They can highlight to the CEO where the advice – and any other correspondence from officers – runs counter to the Council strategies. They can explain that the rejections and any consequent delays are due not to the rejection, but to the officers going off task, and that the CEO’s job is to keep his staff on task.

          They can appoint a CEO who will do so, changing the culture as required, and ensure it is clear that continued employment is dependent on this.

          And they’ll hone in quickly on the legal team, and make sure the CEO understands that the legal teams must use the law to support the Council strategies, not to use the law to support outdated risk management approaches.

          And with a Council legal team finally in good shape, they’ll tackle the CCO’s, using every section of the LGA and other acts they can to make them toe the line.

  9. Market forces will eventually apply to on street parking,insurance costs will sky rocket for cars parked on street. The disruption that having your vehicle stolen /broken into will eventually get the message across. Most suburbs have secure lock ups/storage areas that can accommodate vehicles. Cany developers are proposing car sharing, it’s just that old habits die hard. Could also see business parking being hired out for overnight parking, there are plenty of options,none quite as convenient or supposedly free as parking outside your gate.

    1. Side note, I find car alarms going off to be a violation on the rest of society. Why should it be subject to somebody else’s annoying alarm sound at 3am. Noise control should be penalizing people for this like they would teeangers having a party or Eden park trying to have a concert.

      1. Side note to the side note. some house on my street had a house alarm going off the other day. Went for hours and hours.
        I really don’t understand what the thought process is. The alarm doesn’t call anyone, it doesn’t notify police, it doesn’t shut off after hours of alarming. The direct neighbours didn’t have these peoples number, they didn’t have any instructions on how to turn if off. What did the alarm owners think was supposed to happen if it got triggered?

        The same goes for car alarms.

  10. Councillors might need to bring some thinking to Thursday’s meeting about the consequences on the streetscape of this Council officer heel dragging.

    In particular, the Council officers are ignoring the effect of requiring off street parking on the number of vehicle crossings in streets, and how this affects active modes. And this is one of many ways they are ignoring the problem of vehicle crossings.

  11. Next question: are apartment / terraced house builders running hard into the parking minimums at the moment? Or is the amount of parking they’re building guided by how much people want to buy.
    Eg Ockhams new buildings mostly (all?) have parking, are they building the minimum to get resource consent, or building extra to meet demand.

    1. Builders seem to do the opposite thing described in this post. They find loopholes to build less parking. For instance in many houses the washing machine is put in the garage but it is impossible to use it when there is a car in the garage.

    2. Many of Ockham’s buildings have no parking in them such as Aalto and a lot of bike parking. Others provide a few parks which can be purchased. In general they’ve voiced they’d prefer to not build any parking in anything they do.

  12. AT and Council need to work closer together regarding development consents. Current ‘free’ on-street parking is relied upon by many developments (even stating this in their transport management plans).
    AT / Council need to push back on that and have yellow lines installed near these developments at the time of construction, making it clear to prospective buyers that the only available parking is either the 0,1 or 2 provided onsite, and that is it, otherwise it is find your own private storage area.

    1. Yes, coordination is required. The parking problem comes from existing residents in areas where there is no development happening, too. This is a parking management issue. With good transport planning, extra development does not result in extra cars or extra traffic.

  13. When providing for parking in multi-story residential buildings the logical place to put the parking is on the ground floor or below on basement levels. Putting parking outside of the building footprint is a waste of space (and defeats the purpose of housing intensification). But what if we have a basement of electric cars, some of which are charging at any given time? This seems to be the logical result from what AC planners are proposing.

    Electric cars are a new enough phenomenon that we haven’t yet had to reckon with the challenge of providing supporting infrastructure at scale. The problem being that electric cars occasionally go on fire and this is more likely when they’re charging. Public perception seems to be that these fires are rare but electric cars are still themselves rare so it may be a bigger problem than we realise. It’s certainly a big enough issue that GM has recalled every Bolt EV they’ve ever produced, due to a battery manufacturing defect.

    When electric cars go on fire that fire can not be extinguished because Li-ion batteries contain enough oxygen to sustain the fire even in the absence of atmospheric oxygen. This makes electric car fires much harder to deal with than fossil fuel car fires. The standard approach for electric car firefighting is to try and isolate them from damaging anything else and then let them burn themselves out. But how does this work if there are a basement full of electric cars and one of them is on fire?

    Firefighting an underground electric car fire is already a nightmare. If it spreads between cars (as such fires can easily do in the minutes before firefighters arrive) then the basement is likely a lost cause.

    Modern building standards are high enough that it should be possible to safely evacuate the building. It’s even likely that firefighters would be able to work on the outside to stop the fire spreading beyond the basement. But what are the implications for the ongoing structural integrity of the building? Both structural steel and reinforced concrete can be compromised by fire. There are existing fire engineering solutions to these problems (like intumescent coatings) but my understanding is that they’re only designed to work long enough to ensure a safe evacuation and only to work once.

    So, in this basement fire scenario, what happens to the building once the fire is out? Is it still structurally sound? How expensive is returning it to habitability? If we have a bunch of buildings like this in the city, what are the insurance implications for them? Body corporates are required to insure the whole building on behalf of the collective owners. Earthquake insurance is a major problem for Wellington apartment buildings. Will fire insurance become a major problem for Auckland apartment buildings that are expected to provide electric car charging facilities?

    1. EV fire risks may be overblown.

      My concern with basements is flooding. Clearly good design removes the risk, but too much car infrastructure, and poor Council oversight of permeability requirements means entire suburbs are becoming flood prone.

      1. The fire risks are not overblown: Such fires are low probability, high consequence events. Exactly the sort that humans have shown time and again to be bad at evaluating and mitigating.

        Flooding is a very valid concern. Particularly since the suburbs that we most would want to intensify (older, closer to the city, typically on the isthmus) often don’t have reticulated stormwater systems yet.

        1. “Such fires are low probability, high consequence events. Exactly the sort that humans have shown time and again to be bad at evaluating and mitigating.”

          I would argue that humans are far more likely to do the opposite. Many low consequence events are continually ignored, while high consequence low probability events are blown way out of proportion. Nuclear power is the posterchild for this. But there are many other examples, train transport, far more safe than driving yet every time there is a decent accident there are more regulations added. Every time you kill an equivalent amount of people on the roads spread out over a year no-one bats an eye, and people actively fight change.

        2. It’s well established in human factors research that humans are bad at evaluating and mitigating the risks of low probability, high consequence events. That shortfall was a contributing factor in the engineering decisions that contributed to a lot of the sort of disasters you allude to (including nuclear power, train and plane crashes, and industrial disasters like Piper Alpha and Pike River).

        3. I believe a anylsis was done on teslas catching fire and found it was 11 times less likely, battery technology is only getting way safer and that gap will grow massively within a few years.

    2. Smart developments should create a garage that can be used as carpark initially. If people no longer need car, that garage can be converted into useful living space.

    3. if you are worried about fires in lithium ion batteries, wait until you hear about how energy is stored in ICE vehicles!! The risk of fire in electric vehicles is overhyped in comparison to the risk of fire in ICE vehicles.

  14. Some time ago ,when Heidi posted on berm gardens,l asked for permission to park on the berm,seeing gardens required permission,below is the reply
    Kia
    ora Bryan,

    Thank
    you for your request for consent to park on the berm.

    Parking
    on the berm may pose safety issues and potentially cause damage to trees and the grass.

    This
    activity impacts the ratepayer in terms of cost to repair and maintain, therefore, consent will not be given.

    Nga
    mihi

    Parking
    Design and Solutions

    1. Lol. Thanks. AT went into detail about the dangers in its submission on the Accessible Streets legislation. They know it’s putting people, especially children and those in wheelchairs, at risk. So it’s bizarre (negligent) they don’t manage the risk better, and instead allow their risk management to be entirely focused on the risk of being made to undo a $40 fine that a judge might not uphold.

  15. If on-street parking begins to become scarce (e.g. Wgtn’s Island Bay) there may be opposition to it being repurposed. Then I suspect support for on-street parking sometimes falls as density becomes very high and the chances of getting an on-street carpark become very slight.
    However, some people seem to feel threatened by multi-storey housing and by the loss of even very few on-street parks that are insignificant compared to the number of off-street parks nearby.

  16. I thought they are gone long ago, there are plenty of new apartments without parking for sale in central areas, and even townhouses in Mt Albert.

    1. Most areas / zones still have them. Some with still quite a lot of parking.
      But you are right, some more built up zones do not have parking minimums, although quite often developers still include parking, because people buying apartments know they want one.

      1. This would be silly to prohibit garages at all. I, for example, would prefer to buy with parking/garage if it doesn’t add far too much to the total cost: apart of car, we have bicycles, kick scooters of different size, skate, off-season closes. Also garage is a great place to do stuff, you know like making furnishings from old furnishings.

  17. The problem is greedy developers selling townhouses that expect new residences to park on street.

    In the future it run out of on street parking. The neighbors will be unhappy.

    A better solution is make all on street parking time limited.
    Existing residence can apply for residence parking permit.
    Any new developments will not be eligible to apply for it.

    1. “Existing residence can apply for residence parking permit.
      Any new developments will not be eligible to apply for it.”

      The street is a public asset, the residents don’t own it. Its owned by the city / country, its to be used in order to maximize benefit the country. To that end existing residents are not more important or entitled than future residents.

    2. The problem is greedy people that currently expect parking on street to be available for them, but not others.
      Agree with your time restriction solution (one side of the road only) other side can be yellow lined and cycle seperators installed. EVERY single road in Auckland should have this done when streets get re-sealed.

    3. Kelvin:
      – providing parking induces traffic,
      – not providing parking reduces car ownership and traffic,
      – requiring the provision of parking puts housing costs up.

      Developers not providing parking are serving society well. Don’t blame them.

      The problem is AT failing to follow the Parking Strategy, failing to reallocate road space to cycling, failing to prioritise buses and to improve traffic circulation, failing to enforce parking rules. In short, failing to provide the alternative modes.

      1. Agree not proving parking can reduce ownership and therefore traffic. It still needs to be coordinated better- in our street all the private developers are not including parking off road but Kianga Ora are ( 21 car parks and 1 bike park according to consent). Hopefully the bus routes will be changed to reflect where these developments are going in too.

    4. I’m dubious about existing residents getting priority. Apparently in Northcote there are still “existing residents” complaining about the Auckland Harbour Bridge 50 years after it was built…

      If there is a shortage of street parking in an area then either you start charging (market rates, not $50/year) for it or people live with the shortage. If you are a car owner then you’ll think very carefully about buying a unit somewhere that doesn’t have a carpark. The value of carparks (or home with carparks) will thus increase.

      Space in a big city is a limited resource, forcing people to oversupply it enough to keep it free is wasteful.

      Note: I live in a unit with no useable carpark and no street parking, we have to park around the corner.

    5. All street parking should be priced & any permits reflect the cost of that space being provided. Any free or time-restricted parking is simply a subsidy to vehicle users who dont already pay for the many externalities they cause.

      Every space should make at least a 0% return on the cost of providing that on-street space, otherwise it can be converted to cycle lanes (e.g. one side of street) or other amenity, wider footpaths for cycles/ped/micromobilty, street furniture, trees and planting.

      1. Just for monetary cost, I wonder how much extra money it costs to maintain 11 and 13 metre wide roadways instead of the 6.5 you actually need for one lane each direction.

      2. When I lived in London (Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham) if a household wanted one permit for street parking, it was 75 pounds. If the household wanted a second permit, it was 400 pounds. And this was back when the pound was still worth real money.

        1. Nah per year. It’s actually cheaper in most borough to get a parking permit than to hire a spot in a roadside bike cage which is laughable

  18. Weird that this AC advice would not be produced by AC’s Transport Strategy team?
    Be interesting to know what departments provided input.

  19. 1) Auckland is wrong. Developers should be free (i.e. market driven) to choose whether or not to provide car spaces with or without charging facilities. Other developers or charging companies will provide nearby additional charges/parking spaces where demand exceeds supply. Parking needs to be decoupled from accommodation.

    2) Its absurd that a NPS can have two different interpretations and different planners can make different rules at their whim (without full impact assessment). All local government should be required to work together online to produce one set of rules to be inserted in all district plans backed by a comprehensive policy/regulatory impact assessment.

  20. Overall I support removing parking minima.

    However, I don’t think it will make a huge difference ‘on the ground’ in Auckland. THAB and centres already have no minima.
    In other zones which are located more remote from centres or PT, the market is usually going to provide parking, regardless of whether there are minima or not.
    Even in THAB, the market is usually providing parking.

    Also, fyi, removing parking does not make a huge difference to housing affordability. It make a difference, but it’s a relatively minor one.

    Like many other things, looking to parking minima to address housing affordability is a distraction. The only way we will get much more affordable housing for low-middle income Aucklanders is through large shared equity programmes – which requires a very big investment from government. One which in my opinion is justified.

  21. Scott, can you post a link to the advice/position you’re quoting from? This post has generated a lot of passionate debate but its all based on hearsay

    1. I’m interested to know more about the passionate debate. Can you divulge? 🙂

      Is it evidence-based debate, acknowledging that providing parking induces traffic, and discussed within the framework of climate change, reminding planners that their ethical responsibilities include using best practice to reduce car ownership and vkt? Does it look at Oslo’s rule that all parking provided must be a walk away from new residences due to the evidence that this reduces car ownership and driving modeshare? Is it cognisant of NZ planning’s effect on streetscapes, including how the safety effects of ever more vehicle crossings has been ignored by planners as if it’s somehow not their responsibility?

      1. Thanks Heidi, I read it twice trying to find a link before posting but it seems lockdown is not good for my mental faculties. Will have a read and see what I make of it

        1. No problem, and thanks for the feedback. Clearly putting it higher in the post is ideal… hard though, when starting with Upper Hutt’s plans like this.

  22. I find it funny. Some Greens convinced the worst Minister in a generation to slot a ban on parking minimums into a National Policy Statement at the end without any analysis. Now they are getting push back. Just wait until parking problems start to bite and communities of middle class people force the Council to start building parking areas with public money. That will be even funnier.

    1. You’ve forgotten that communities of middle class people can only ever prevent councils from doing things, not force them to actually do things.

        1. Nah, the top crust want convention centres so they can get those done no problem. The middle class stop innovvating streets programmes, stop zebra crossings, stop safe speed limits, stop pedestrianisation of Queen Street, stop sensible changes to the link buses.

        2. No they get the theatres built at great expense. It is the middle that gets all the money wasted on sports fields, stadia public golf courses etc. When they find they cant park at the shops six or seven will contact their Councillor. That is enough for a crisis.

    2. I’m not sure how much impact this minimum removal will have in Auckland, they could have done all the analysis they wanted, but it would heavily depend on what they assume the rest of the transport system will look like.
      People aren’t under some great illusion about how much parking they need, why would someone move somewhere that doesn’t meet their base requirements? We already have pretty minimal parking mins in a lot of zones anyway, and yet a lot of the inner developments still have parking in them. Reflecting that people are willing to pay, and developers are willing to build it when not legally required to.

      I do find it funny that you’re a free market person until it comes to parking minimums though Miffy. Its an enormous government mandated market distortion.

      1. I guess I never claimed I was consistent. 🙂 Part of the problem is that developers cheap out on as much as they can and leave the issues to the next people. Without rules they become cowboys, we saw that with leaky homes, we have seen it with apartments built with windows they know will be blocked by the next building.

        1. I would argue there is a big difference between:
          Building science over fairly complex things for the average buyer, wood treatments, vapor barriers, cladding systems, how it all performs over time.
          and:
          For my current life I need to have 2 cars, this listing says this place has zero parks, perhaps it wont be convenient at all for me to live here.

          Its on the same order of “ease of comprehension” as buying a house that has the right number of bedrooms, or bathrooms for what you want / need.

          >apartments built with windows they know will be blocked by the >next building

          I’m interested to see the news articles / photos about this one. I’ve seen peoples apartments view be built out before but its a city, I think that’s pretty reasonable, unless its causing ventilation issues. I don’t really know what’s illegal and what’s not.

        2. I don’t really care if residential units have parking or not. I wouldn’t buy a house that didn’t have one space but I know plenty of people who would. It is the commercial developments that I see as a problem. Some people have little choice but to drive and some trips are really difficult to make if you haven’t got a car. I haven’t yet met a GP who isn’t tight-fisted so you can expect a lot of doctors rooms to have insufficient parking in future. Then there is freeloading where people who provide parking are going to have to get folks towed because the neighbour not provided for their visitors.

        3. “Then there is freeloading where people who provide parking are going to have to get folks towed because the neighbour not provided for their visitors.”

          So what?

          If I offer free drinks with a meal I don’t expect council to mandate that all restaurants do the same. Perhaps I should just make a tiny effort to check that the people getting free drinks actually bought a meal.

          Especially when the free drinks are actually a really socially damaging thing like car parking.

        4. Businesses have even more incentive to provide for their customers.
          Want to give car drivers a good business experience? Locate where there is parking, move to buildings that provide parking, drive up the demand for that service and developers will build it. They can be as tight fisted as they like, but if they’re going to loose customers because of it then that’s on them. Malls know this.
          If its not worth it for a business to provide any parking, at the expense of providing a worse experience and discouraging some of their customers, then the best positioned organization to decide this, is the business itself. Not some blanket council rules.

          The only fly in the ointment is that AT seem to think that it is their responsibility to provide parking. I don’t know why, and where they got that idea from. But that that’s a problem that I think will be sorted out eventually, and shouldn’t prevent good change in other areas in the meantime.

        5. The point was to require centres to provide sufficient parking to meet their demand while requiring multiple owners to each contribute. Now we are likely to get the two boundary conditions. One type of centre where nobody bothers providing any parking. Another type of centre further out where there is one owner who provides all the parking and owns all the shops. These are the traditional responses to commons issues. The problem is the parked up centres will be further from where most people live so we can expect shopping trips to be a lot longer. Thank the Greens and Mr Twyford for that.

        6. miffy, you’re right that rules are fine.

          The problem of apartment windows that will be blocked by the next building are solved (by people wanting to return to the old ways) by making stronger rules about window positions and set backs. The people wanting change will push for cohesive rules that create a perimeter block housing form.

          The mess whilst shifting from one rule book to another doesn’t justify resisting making the change, though. The old rule book wasn’t working.

  23. “In terms of emergency services:
    increased response time to properties without vehicle access as emergency
    responders need to find a location to park their vehicles”

    I’m really disappointed by this blatant concern trolling from the emergency services. Currently, basically no emergency responders find a legal car park. They (quite rightly) stop as close as possible to the incident, leave the lights on, and address the emergency. Are people not embarassed to say things so obviously untrue?

    1. No, they’re not. This is turning into a serious issue, especially with some emergency services using their positions to spread serious disinformation.

      And UK data shows what opposition there was to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods from the emergency services – escalated by the media, of course – was not backed up by evidence at all.

  24. Catching up with my week’s reading so this response is probably a little late for most. I’ll post anyway. An interesting comment on parking in this article; “It highlights that the opportunity to repurpose kerbsides and transform them into valuable public space is huge: cars parked on our [London] streets take up space equivalent to 10 Hyde Parks.”
    https://www.centreforlondon.org/publication/parking-kerbside-management/?utm_source=Personal+Licensees&utm_campaign=1d80f72c85-TRT_27-Mar-2020_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dddd8aa2a5-1d80f72c85-8341305

    And did you know there is an association for Parking Providers? https://www.britishparking.co.uk/About-the-BPA
    Is AT a member?
    Their role is; “We are a not-for-profit organisation working with our members and stakeholders to support their communities, improve compliance by those managing and using parking facilities, and encourage fairness to achieve our vision of excellence in parking for all.”
    So maybe NOT for AT due to that fairness for all piece.

  25. I don’t understand the bit about parking minimums robbing people of choice. Choice would be to have all transport modes available, including cars. Removing the car option reduces, not increases, choice. Furthermore it would make it a less desirable destination for most people, as most people drive cars as their #1 choice for getting around.

    In my town we have an oversupply of parking. At peaks times, about half of the available car parking in town is empty, and what’s more, all parking is free 24/7 throughout the CBD. It seems to work well, everyone can get about with ease at any time.

    1. The choice to not legally have to buy parking.

      My example is I used to live in a flat that had 3 car parks, none of the 4 of us living there had a car. At Auckland isthmus prices that was 10s of thousands of dollars of land / building we didn’t need, but were forced to pay (rent) for because that was the legal minimum parking they had to build. A large oversupply in the area meant they were valueless to anyone. Its essentially wasted land that would have otherwise been used for something actually useful. Instead that land / supply has to be made up for elsewhere, basically in Greenfields development, forcing the size of the city to increase.
      It represents huge opportunity costs, especially in any town of decent size. The mandated changes to the parking minimums are only (I think) for towns / cities over 10,000 residents.

    2. “In my town we have an oversupply of parking”

      Is that possibly because business, developers etc have all been required to provide a minimum number of carparks?

      “Removing the car option”

      The proposal is not to ban cars or carparks, its to not make carparks mandatory. Don’t worry, plenty will still be provided regardless and it sounds like even if they weren’t, you are not short of parking anyway?

    3. Removing car parking minimums doesn’t remove the choice of cars. It adds the choice of not building car parks. For example, we currently have no minimum bedroom requirements for houses in most of New Zealand. We haven’t lost the choice to have bedrooms, we’ve gained the options to live in studio apartments.

  26. Please make it a policy define acronyms on first use in each article on GA.

    In this case, I tripped over “NPS”, which seems a core concept (document? policy?) in the article, and did not read the rest; but I have experienced similar confusion reading other GA articles.

    1. And of course, I violated my own suggestion in my comment! I should of course have referred to “Greater Auckland (GA)”.

  27. Meh. There are far too many rules around what can and can’t be built so yes of course minimums should be removed. Along with a bunch of other ones.
    Just don’t be surprised when it spills out onto the street.

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