Parking in Tauranga city centre is about to get easier for customers, diners, and visitors.
From Thursday, 1 December, a city centre two-hour free parking trial ends and will be replaced with paid on-street parking with variable charges.
The free parking trial began in mid-2020 to support retailers and help re-energise the city centre during a period of COVID-19 disruptions. Unfortunately, city centre retailers and customers alike have noticed most of the parking has been occupied by workers parking all day.
From Thursday, 1 December 2022 to Wednesday, 1 February 2023, on-street parking in the city centre will be $1 per hour for the first two hours and $5 for each subsequent hour. From Wednesday, 1 February 2023, this will change to $2 per hour for the first two hours and $5 for each subsequent hour.
Tauranga City Council Commission Chair, Anne Tolley, says this change is about more than parking, it’s also an important step toward the revitalisation of the city centre.
“At the moment, we know it can be difficult to find a park if you just want to stop for a quick lunch or pop into your favourite shop. We even heard of a local retailer who began offering a valet parking service as a solution, so they are thrilled with the changes,” she says.
“We acknowledge paid parking will mean a new routine for some workers and we encourage them to use the parking buildings instead or try a different mode of travel like walking, cycling or public transport.
“Our communities have told us they want a vibrant city centre and variable pricing will encourage more short-term stays and see more people in town, giving a real boost to local businesses as we approach the festive season.”
Council’s Director of Transport, Brendan Bisley, says that in a fast-growing city like Tauranga there are other benefits too.
“As well as supporting retailers and bringing more people to the heart of the city, introducing paid on-street parking will help deliver on the Government’s emission reduction plan for combatting climate change by encouraging environmentally friendly travel choices across Tauranga and helping to reduce traffic congestion.”
Currently parking fees are subsidised and paid for by council debt and this change will help Tauranga to move to a more equitable user-pays model.
These changes were adopted by Commissioners on Monday, 3 October, based on recommendations from the Tauranga central city parking management plan.
More information on Parking changes