Businesses are concerned but some local residents are welcoming the changes to parking around Auckland’s city centre.

From July 1, there will no longer be free curbside parking in the central city outside peak hours, overnight and at weekends.

Instead, vehicle owners will need to stump up between $2 and $3 an hour.

Auckland City Centre Residents’ Group chairperson Adam Parkinson said the best thing for local businesses was a turnover of visitors.

“If we really want it to work and function properly, we need to make sure that those parking spaces are available and that they’re turned over regularly — that’s the crux for us.

“There’s no right to park a private vehicle on any street, there’s certainly no right for that to be free.”

He said it might be okay in suburbs, but “in big cities … it’s not realistic” to have a free public car park outside apartments.

Auckland Transport told Breakfast that Auckland’s central city businesses had been informed of the changes two months in advance.

Residents could either get a place with a carpark, or lease one out, Parkinson said.

“The city centre is highly contested space. The streets are contested.”

City centre businesses like retail, arts, and hospitality would benefit from high car park turnover, especially after 6pm, he said.

“Parking turnover is all about different types of people parking over a shorter period and providing that vibrancy, variety. It’s great for retail, great for business.

“We’re going to benefit from it, too, because more businesses will stay open, more businesses will open, and we’ll have a more interesting life as residents here as well. So those are all win-wins.”

Auckland city centre had a population of 40,000, and about 100,000 came in every day, Parkinson added.

He said AT’s initiative was passed in May 2023 and the parking strategy that came out of it was not a surprise.

“They probably could have done a little bit better on preparing us. I think this has been through a pretty strong political process already, which the AT board have approved. So it’s a shock probably to some, but it’s not a surprise to us.”

However, deputy mayor Desley Simpson said yesterday that Auckland Transport (AT) should go back and consult with affected parties over its new overnight on-street parking changes. Simpson said AT’s strategy had been “poorly executed”.

No one had directed AT to bring in 24/7 parking charges without consultation, she said.

Mayor Wayne Brown said at the weekend he had no idea the changes were coming.

AT chief executive Dean Kimpton told Morning Report on Monday that he 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.

“Auckland Transport needs to find $73 million worth of savings in the year coming — that includes cost reductions, but it also includes looking at revenue sources, and this is one of those,” he had said.

“If we don’t find those savings, the ratepayers — including the business ratepayers inside the central city area — could face up to 3% increase on rates.”