26 March 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: New iPark scan car

Enquiry

I am a following a story today on the recently announced i-PARK scan car coming to town and was just hoping to get clarification on something:

  1. Can the council provide some figures on the number of jobs that will be affected by the introduction of the car? Specifically, in the future when it is capable of doing all the things that a current parking warden does? 

  2. Are we able to possibly send a reporter one day to come for a ride in the car to write a first-person piece on it?

Subsequent enquiry:

I went out on the street to ask the locals view on the new i-PARK car and we had a comment from a person saying "the car was just a revenue gathering system for the council and was highly unnecessary". She said although she was very mindful of paying for the correct amount of parking time, a car that was onto you for being five or so minutes late is ridiculous. 

This will be going into my story, so just giving the council a chance to respond to this if possible?

Response

The following information was provided:

The scan car won’t impact on jobs as the current parking wardens will alternate between driving the car and patrolling the streets.  

The scan car will complement the work of parking wardens and improve efficiencies in monitoring and enforcing Council’s parking policy.

Parking wardens are contracted by i-PARK and are employees of Watchdog Security.

Once the scan car is fully operational we can look at taking a reporter out.

Response to subsequent enquiry:

Please attribute to Rotorua Lakes Council’s Operations Group Manager, Henry Weston:

“The scan car is being used to more fairly and effectively monitor and enforce Council’s parking policy.

“Council has upgraded the parking system to provide an effective, modern, and cost-efficient service to the community. The new parking system has improved consistency of service across the city and has improved turnover of parking spaces so that car parks are less difficult to find.

“The previous parking system used obsolete coin-only operated meters that were expensive to operate and maintain, as well as being labour-intensive to monitor. This dated technology contributed to low enforcement rates and lost revenue.

“The scan car is expected to significantly improve our enforcement rate which will in turn assist in making sure that our parking system is fair and consistent. In the past, there was a higher likelihood of people not paying for parking and exceeding stated time restrictions due partially to the manual nature of our old system. This was inherently unfair to other members of the public who may also have wanted to use that parking space. 

“Fair and reasonable parameters remain in place even with the introduction of the new technology. An infringement notice will not be given to a vehicle with a warrant of fitness or registration that has expired within the past 28 days, and owners of parked vehicles are given a ten minute leeway period to top up their parking payment or move their car after they have exceeded the stated time restriction. Nothing has changed in this respect.”

Page reviewed: 13 May 2019 8:17am