Smarter ways to manage city parking

A photograph of a section of Courtenay Place, Wellington with a line of cars parked on the street.

Thank you for completing the questionnaire and providing feedback on Wellington’s parking issues. We’ll use what you have told us to help develop a new draft parking policy. You can click through the tabs below to find out more about the different ways we could manage the city's parking issues.

Our city is growing

Over the next 30 years, Wellington will be home to another 50,000-80,000 residents and many more workers will commute in from the wider region. To accommodate this growth, we need a more efficient transport system that makes better use of our limited road space. This means moving more people using fewer vehicles; more public transport use, walking and cycling and fewer people driving and parking in busy areas. We need to review how we allocate road space for parking to support this change.

Let's Get Wellington Moving

This programme will deliver a step change in public transport for the city, including a mass transit route between the railway station and the airport. To pave the way for our future transport system, we need to start creating space along some key transport corridors, this will mean removing on-street parking spaces in some places.

Climate change and parking management

Wellington has been a leader in the climate change area in the past. Now we are ready to move to the next step by being First to Zero. Te Atakura – First to Zero sets out an ambitious series of challenges for us to address to further reduce the city’s carbon emissions. Road transport emissions comprise approximately 37% of those emissions. How we manage parking can support many of the proposed emissions reduction initiatives such as prioritising road space for active and public transport modes, allocating more on-street parking spaces for car share vehicles, electric vehicle charging and pick up/drop off services. The price of parking can also be used to influence what vehicles people drive plus how often and where they drive.

People expect more of our central business district (CBD)

More and more people live in and around the CBD. Thousands of workers and visitors come to the CBD each day. They increasingly expect to be able to walk, shop, dine and spend time in an attractive and safe environment. They expect cafes on pavements, street trees, public spaces and a pleasant environment. We need to continue to deliver better streets to meet these expectations. To make room for these features we may need to change some of the on-street parking spaces.

What does this mean for the management of parking?

The Parking Policy and the Mobility Parking Policy provide the guiding principles for the management and supply of on-street and Wellington City Council-controlled off-street parking in Wellington City. It’s critical that how we think and make decisions around parking, and how we prioritise the use of our streets for parking, fits with the future transport system. This is why we are taking a fresh look at our parking policies.

Parking in Newtown

In June/July this year, we assessed the street parking use and capacity in the wider Newtown area. 5456

parking spaces and 95 streets were surveyed. Click here to see the results.

How you can help?

Everyone is affected by this policy from vehicle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists to pedestrians. It's important everyone has their opportunity to share their views. The next opportunity to share your views will be the consultation on a new draft policy. We expect this to start early next year.

This website sets out the issues we need to think about and what principles could inform how we manage the limited parking.

Note: Following the closure of the Civic Square car park under the Central Library in March 2019, there are 59 fewer off-street Council-owned and managed public parking spaces and four fewer on-street parking spaces. Four of these are mobility parking spaces (two off-street and two on-street).

Thank you for completing the questionnaire and providing feedback on Wellington’s parking issues. We’ll use what you have told us to help develop a new draft parking policy. You can click through the tabs below to find out more about the different ways we could manage the city's parking issues.

Our city is growing

Over the next 30 years, Wellington will be home to another 50,000-80,000 residents and many more workers will commute in from the wider region. To accommodate this growth, we need a more efficient transport system that makes better use of our limited road space. This means moving more people using fewer vehicles; more public transport use, walking and cycling and fewer people driving and parking in busy areas. We need to review how we allocate road space for parking to support this change.

Let's Get Wellington Moving

This programme will deliver a step change in public transport for the city, including a mass transit route between the railway station and the airport. To pave the way for our future transport system, we need to start creating space along some key transport corridors, this will mean removing on-street parking spaces in some places.

Climate change and parking management

Wellington has been a leader in the climate change area in the past. Now we are ready to move to the next step by being First to Zero. Te Atakura – First to Zero sets out an ambitious series of challenges for us to address to further reduce the city’s carbon emissions. Road transport emissions comprise approximately 37% of those emissions. How we manage parking can support many of the proposed emissions reduction initiatives such as prioritising road space for active and public transport modes, allocating more on-street parking spaces for car share vehicles, electric vehicle charging and pick up/drop off services. The price of parking can also be used to influence what vehicles people drive plus how often and where they drive.

People expect more of our central business district (CBD)

More and more people live in and around the CBD. Thousands of workers and visitors come to the CBD each day. They increasingly expect to be able to walk, shop, dine and spend time in an attractive and safe environment. They expect cafes on pavements, street trees, public spaces and a pleasant environment. We need to continue to deliver better streets to meet these expectations. To make room for these features we may need to change some of the on-street parking spaces.

What does this mean for the management of parking?

The Parking Policy and the Mobility Parking Policy provide the guiding principles for the management and supply of on-street and Wellington City Council-controlled off-street parking in Wellington City. It’s critical that how we think and make decisions around parking, and how we prioritise the use of our streets for parking, fits with the future transport system. This is why we are taking a fresh look at our parking policies.

Parking in Newtown

In June/July this year, we assessed the street parking use and capacity in the wider Newtown area. 5456

parking spaces and 95 streets were surveyed. Click here to see the results.

How you can help?

Everyone is affected by this policy from vehicle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists to pedestrians. It's important everyone has their opportunity to share their views. The next opportunity to share your views will be the consultation on a new draft policy. We expect this to start early next year.

This website sets out the issues we need to think about and what principles could inform how we manage the limited parking.

Note: Following the closure of the Civic Square car park under the Central Library in March 2019, there are 59 fewer off-street Council-owned and managed public parking spaces and four fewer on-street parking spaces. Four of these are mobility parking spaces (two off-street and two on-street).

  • Current parking management in Wellington City

    7 months ago
    Infographic to show how people travelled to work in the central city 40  went by car

    Wellington City Council adopted its first Parking Policy in 2007 to manage scarce public road space in a fair and balanced way that would benefit the city. It set overall principles and location-specific policies to guide the direction of our management and influence over the parking system. With less parking available, how the Council manages it's remaining parking supply is even more important.

    The 2007 Parking Policy established the intended main use for on-street parking for different areas. On-street parking in the central city and suburban centres firstly supports retail and entertainment facilities, and secondly allows for servicing and deliveries...

    Wellington City Council adopted its first Parking Policy in 2007 to manage scarce public road space in a fair and balanced way that would benefit the city. It set overall principles and location-specific policies to guide the direction of our management and influence over the parking system. With less parking available, how the Council manages it's remaining parking supply is even more important.

    The 2007 Parking Policy established the intended main use for on-street parking for different areas. On-street parking in the central city and suburban centres firstly supports retail and entertainment facilities, and secondly allows for servicing and deliveries to buildings. On-street parking in the inner and outer suburbs mainly supports people who live in these areas so residents’ parking is prioritised over commuter and short-term parking.


    The parking management tools (ways we manage parking) vary across the city in order to support the intended main use for different areas, as set out in the Parking Policy.

    The range of methods we use to manage on-street parking includes: clearways, time limits, meter charges, class (type of vehicle) restrictions, coupon parking zones, and residents parking zones. For metered spaces, parking fees range from $1.50 to $4.50 per hour and time limits range from 2 to 11 hours.

    The 2007 Parking Policy adopted the internationally accepted standard of 15 percent vacancy (85 percent occupancy) as a target for our on-street parking. At this level, people can expect to find a park easily and the use of valuable street space is maximised.

    What do we want to achieve with an updated parking policy?

    We are looking for an updated parking policy that:

    • Provides guiding principles for the management of on-street and other Council-controlled parking, including mobility parking, that are aligned with the wider vision for the city.

    • Is responsive to increasing parking pressures, flexible enough to respond to changing transport behaviours and makes use of evolving technology where appropriate.

    • Enables a consistent approach to managing parking across the city that is clear and easy to understand.



  • The hidden costs of parking

    7 months ago
    Taranaki street  wellington

    The parking fee is set at a level that we think will encourage the internationally accepted ideal of 85 percent occupancy. That means if we’ve got it right, 15 percent of the parking spaces should be available at any time. That fee does not compensate the city for a number of other costs related to providing parking – such as increased use of cars which has an impact on traffic congestion, more emissions affecting the environment and loss of space that could be used for other public uses such as wider footpaths, cycling or bus lanes, or outdoor dining space....

    The parking fee is set at a level that we think will encourage the internationally accepted ideal of 85 percent occupancy. That means if we’ve got it right, 15 percent of the parking spaces should be available at any time. That fee does not compensate the city for a number of other costs related to providing parking – such as increased use of cars which has an impact on traffic congestion, more emissions affecting the environment and loss of space that could be used for other public uses such as wider footpaths, cycling or bus lanes, or outdoor dining space.

  • Demand for parking is exceeding supply

    7 months ago
    Infographic to show the population of wellington city will grow to 280 000 by 2043

    Demand for parking is increasing due to population growth (both within the city and in region), urban development, increased car ownership and many Wellington residents, commuters and visitors still rely on driving to get around. There is a tension between parking supply, availability, the use of public space and parking affordability. At the same time the supply of parking has decreased because of space being used for other things, such as construction work; road space used for alternative transport modes; the impact of the earthquake on parking buildings; and the increasing need to provide space for car share and electric...

    Demand for parking is increasing due to population growth (both within the city and in region), urban development, increased car ownership and many Wellington residents, commuters and visitors still rely on driving to get around. There is a tension between parking supply, availability, the use of public space and parking affordability. At the same time the supply of parking has decreased because of space being used for other things, such as construction work; road space used for alternative transport modes; the impact of the earthquake on parking buildings; and the increasing need to provide space for car share and electric vehicle charging.

    There is also competition for on-street parking between the various users of the parking system, for example between residents, commuters, motorcyclists, people with disabilities, shoppers and delivery drivers. This varies from area to area, times of day and days of the week. There may be opportunities to make better use of the space set aside for parking to ensure no parking spaces are ‘wasted’ (left empty for prolonged periods of time).



  • Different parking management approaches

    7 months ago
    Nottingham  uk

    Many European and American cities are using a range of different strategies to manage parking. Zurich, Hamburg, Oslo and New York have capped their total parking supply and London, Copenhagen and Paris are actively reducing the number of parking spaces. Tokyo has no on-street parking. These actions were mainly driven by air quality requirements, to reduce congestion, to encourage use of public transport and to stop cars driving into historic centres. Other approached to managing parking include:

    Pricing changes

    Parking mainly benefits the person using it and fees could reflect that. This could mean...

    Many European and American cities are using a range of different strategies to manage parking. Zurich, Hamburg, Oslo and New York have capped their total parking supply and London, Copenhagen and Paris are actively reducing the number of parking spaces. Tokyo has no on-street parking. These actions were mainly driven by air quality requirements, to reduce congestion, to encourage use of public transport and to stop cars driving into historic centres. Other approached to managing parking include:

    Pricing changes

    Parking mainly benefits the person using it and fees could reflect that. This could mean parking prices reflected the real-time market demand for the space, the cost of providing the infrastructure and the opportunity cost of the loss of space for other uses.

    Another option is dynamic or variable, market-based pricing where prices go up or down depending on demand at a particular time and in a particular area. People would pay for the time they use the space. Dynamic pricing generally means street space is used more efficiently, congestion reduces and there are opportunities to repurpose parking space for other uses.

    For example, the Gold Coast varies the cost of parking at various times, depending on demand and puts 50 percent of the revenue from parking fees towards improving public transport. Perth uses the income from their parking fees to provide free city centre bus travel. Nottingham City Council is the first council to introduce a targeted rate on private business parking. The revenue has funded a new light rail system (see photo).

    Space use is prioritised and targeted

    The Council could prioritise its parking supply to ensure people who cannot easily use public transport or active transport (such as walking or cycling) can easily get to essential facilities and services and to maintain the economic viability of retail centres. This could mean any of the following:

    · an increase of mobility parking and other designated-user parking spaces in certain areas,

    · parking at Council sports, parks and recreation facilities is prioritised for people using the facility

    · short-stay parking is provided in the central area and suburban centres

    · long-stay/commuter parking is discouraged in certain areas and/or

    · residents without off-street parking are prioritised with residents parking zones.

    Making sure the current parking is properly used

    In order to maximise the use of a limited resource the Council could make sure each space is used for the maximum amount of time, and that everyone has fair access to the spaces. This would mean continuing to enforce overstaying, permit parking and illegally parked vehicles. Where practical some parking spaces could be used for other things at different times, depending on demand. Applying an area-based approach when making decisions about changing parking management could help to manage overspill effects.

    Improve information and use technology

    New ways to pay, digital signage, real-time data and other technological innovations could help the Council to deliver its parking service more transparently and efficiently and could improve the user experience. Providing more information to the public about where, when and how long they can park will reduce congestion and should help people decide how to travel.


  • What options are there for different ways to charge for parking?

    7 months ago
    Infographic  to show there were 4000 residents parking permits and 1400 coupon exemption permits issued in wellington city in 2018

    One option is dynamic pricing. This is a system that can react to demand for parking. Under this system charges are based on historical averages and how much current activity is varying from those averages. Based on the exact time and day, if the current parking space occupancy is lower than expected, discount prices can be put out. If the parking space occupancy is higher than expected, higher rates can be set. This method seeks to balance the supply and demand and improve the parking experience for customers. In Los Angeles, prices for parking are lower with dynamic pricing in...

    One option is dynamic pricing. This is a system that can react to demand for parking. Under this system charges are based on historical averages and how much current activity is varying from those averages. Based on the exact time and day, if the current parking space occupancy is lower than expected, discount prices can be put out. If the parking space occupancy is higher than expected, higher rates can be set. This method seeks to balance the supply and demand and improve the parking experience for customers. In Los Angeles, prices for parking are lower with dynamic pricing in 60 percent of parking spaces and higher in only 27 percent of spaces. San Francisco also has this system in place.

    However, the Council must follow set consultation and notification procedures and timeframes before making significant changes to fees. Therefore, even if the Council had the technology in place, under the current legislation and bylaw, it is not possible to have dynamic pricing.

    Another option is demand responsive pricing. This is similar to dynamic pricing and works by splitting the city into ‘parking areas’ with rates varying to reflect the demand for parking in each area and at peak and off peak times. At regular intervals, the prices are readjusted based on the occupancy levels observed in the previous quarter. The aim is to achieve 85 percent occupancy. Auckland City has demand responsive pricing in some parts of the city.