There was a change in law last Sunday, forcing council district plans to no longer have minimum car parking requirements for any future or existing developments.
It’s not exactly a new change. Cities like Wellington have already implemented these regulations into their own district plans. However, from February 20, the changes became law, and all New Zealand councils must abide by them accordingly.
Essentially, developers around the country will not have to ensure a specific number of car parking is available at developments. It doesn’t mean they won’t, but it means they no longer have to.
Accessible car parks must still be made available.
It’s a move the government hopes will reduce the carbon footprint of future developments. They also believe it will slash the cost of developments as minimum parking requirements can be very expensive.
Auckland Council’s General Manager of Plans and Places, John Duguid, says the council had no say in the decision. However, they will still be rolling out the changes.
“The government has directed us to make these changes without a statutory plan change process, meaning without public consultation or any decisions required of the council,” he said.
“In Auckland, we already have no requirements for on-site car parking in certain places where there is a high frequency of public transport.
“However, these requirements have been removed for any new or existing development anywhere in the city and the council can no longer require developers to provide on-site car parking.”
Hamilton’s Mayor Paula Southgate says the changes will go down like “a lump of lead” for some people. She also reiterated the council’s hands were tied.
“Some developers may still choose to provide on-site carparks in both residential and commercial developments because that will be what the market demands,” she said. “But Council cannot force them to take that view.”