Parking tensions flare in Invercargill

Recent staff moves have left Invercargill City Council shorthanded on the parking warden front....
Recent staff moves have left Invercargill City Council shorthanded on the parking warden front. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg/LDR
Invercargill is down to a single parking warden as the city council works to plug the gap left by recent departures.

Tensions were rising as food delivery drivers and goods trucks flout parking rules, a councillor warned.

While three people normally patrolled the city’s streets, just one was left due to staff moving to other opportunities, Invercargill City Council environmental services manager Gillian Cavanagh said.

The council had been shorthanded for more than four weeks.

“We do have processes in place such as using other staff as appropriate and scheduling patrols to cover priority areas on a daily basis, as well as regular patrols through the week,” Cavanagh said.

“This ensures we continue to have a presence in the community, cover areas of concern and requests for service, as we work to fill these two vacancies.”

The issue came to light during a community wellbeing committee meeting last week where disruptive drivers in the CBD were discussed.

Councillor Ria Bond said she had observed issues on Esk St where goods and services vehicles stopped to offload in unofficial parking spaces next to the mall, and food delivery drivers parked on the footpath.

Bond said tensions were escalating between the public and those in breach of the rules.

“How often are these breaches being monitored, and what can we do to ensure the safety of public comes first?” she asked.

Cavanagh said the council was down to only had one parking officer which made it “a little bit more difficult”.

When councillor Darren Ludlow suggested issuing infringements as a way of tackling the perpetrators, Bond pushed back.

“But we can’t catch them because we’ve only got one person to monitor.”

Councillor Alex Crackett said the council needed to adapt to obvious changes in community behaviour.

Ride shares and delivery services weren’t going anywhere, and the council needed to develop services for them in the same way they did with taxis appeared, she said.

The council currently managed a total of 831 metered parking spaces in the city.

Cavanagh said the organisation was recruiting for the vacancies and expected to be fully staffed "very soon".

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