People attending shows in central Auckland are outraged at
"event rates" being charged at parking buildings that are up
to double normal prices.
Parking meter machines are being boarded up and attendants
employed to charge parkers up to $25 for night-time services
that are usually delivered for between $8 and $12.
Regular concertgoer Geoffrey Hughes said he was confronted
with the higher prices last Thursday when he was trying to
secure a park at a Wilson Parking building for the opening
night of the New Zealand Opera's La Traviata.
"I pulled into the Wilson carpark where I usually get charged
$12 for an evening and the machine was blocked off and a
staff member with an Eftpos machine told me that because the
opera and orchestra were on the same night it was event
parking and would be $20."
The same thing happened when he tried to attend another event
"I think it is disgusting, I see it as scalping."
Mr Hughes' brother-in-law encountered the same thing when he
tried to park in a Wilson building for the Michael Buble
concert in May, except he was charged $25.
Wilson Parking regional manager Ryan Orchard said that
increases were due to the demand for parking when events were
"The heightened demand requires us to provide additional
resource - attendants with mobile Eftpos units, traffic
direction, signage, security - to ensure the carpark runs
smoothly, safely, and a high level of service is achieved for
"As a result of these pressures, quite often the price of
parking at the most conveniently located carparks during an
event are positioned slightly higher than a normally
discounted weekend or evening 'flat rate'."
Peter Slocum said he was also stung $20 for parking near the
Auckland Town Hall venue.
"[I] was equally charged $20 for the pleasure of parking in a
derelict facility characterised by dim lighting, broken and
uneven concrete flooring and large puddles," he said.
Another woman had to pay more than $25 at the Britomart Car
Park Building in April after the Joss Stone and India Arie
concert ran late, and she was penalised.
Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development chief
executive Brett O'Riley said Auckland Council did not change
its parking prices for events.
The agency was aware of the increased prices but it was not
breaking any regulations, he said.
Mr O'Riley advised people to use council facilities or public
transport and to plan their journeys in advance to avoid the
Vector Arena general manager Brendan Hines said he was aware
that prices were lifted for event nights.
"If you park in a spot you know and then you go there on an
event night and it's more, I can understand why that would
Between 50 and 60 per cent of concertgoers drove to the
venue, and Mr Hines advised them to shop around for the
- By Morgan Tait of the New Zealand Herald