Overnight parking charges in the Auckland city centre have been delayed to October 1, Auckland Transport has announced.

The Wynyard Quarter would also remain exempt from the overnight charges until the Wynyard Crossing pedestrian bridge returned to operation.

Before the delay, the overnight parking charge was set to begin from July 1.

Instead, people would be charged between $2 to $3 per hour to park in the CBD overnight from October 1, depending on which zone they were in.

The parking charges have been contentious since coming to the attention of inner city residents last weekend. When first approached for comment, Mayor Wayne Brown said he had no idea the changes were coming.

AT chief executive Dean Kimpton said on Monday that he had personally delivered the news to Brown in April, and the plan had been “out there” since April 23 as part of AT’s parking strategy.

On Wednesday however, Kimpton said in a statement: “The proposal to delay overnight charges to 1 October allows for keeping the mayor and councillors sufficiently informed and further discussion with key stakeholders and those most affected.

“It also enables us to consider mitigations for those impacted by the changes.”

“I have also told the mayor we are sorry and could have done better at keeping him and other important stakeholders sufficiently informed.

“We acknowledge the pressure on residents and business, whilst balancing the need to make city centre parking available and in a way that is consistent with the ‘Room to Move’ parking strategy adopted by Auckland Transport in May 2023.

“We are going to consider possible mitigations for overnight parking changes.”

Charges for Sundays and public holidays will begin as planned from 1 July.

Hospitality NZ welcomes delay

Hospitality NZ chief executive Steve Armitage said the postponement allowed for additional time for Auckland Transport to carry out consultation with stakeholders to ensure any changes were “both effective and equitable” for all parties involved.

“Hospitality workers from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and accommodation providers rely on cheap and safe inner-city parking options while at work. In many cases, driving is the safest and most reliable transportation mode for workers to get home after finishing late.

“We know public transport options are harder to navigate in the early hours of the morning, and taxis or Uber are often not affordable enough for those relying on them to get home many times a week.

“Hospitality NZ would welcome the opportunity to identify solutions on this particular matter, and to contribute to the discussion on where reinvestment of funds raised from parking fees will contribute the most return for city vibrancy.”

In December last year, a letter of explanation Auckland Transport received from Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown asked for an increase in revenue from things such as parking charges.

“I want to see increased revenue from enforcement and parking,” it said.

Come October 1, there will no longer be a free time to park in Auckland’s city centre. Earlier this week, 1News delved into how cities across the country compare with their parking rules.