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Outrageous parking fees a threat to business

Media release

15 September 2004

TO: Editors/Chief reporters

For Immediate release


Outrageous parking fees show current council majority is the real threat to business


Wellington mayoral candidate, Timothy O’Brien, says business owners being slaughtered by the Wellington City Council’s irrational parking fee policy will be amazed to hear that there is a possibility of a council less business friendly than the current one.

Former mayor, Mark Blumsky, and current councillor, Chris Parkin, were reported in the Dominion Post as saying that a possible change in the character of the council at the next election was a threat to the city’s business.

“This comes after several reports in the same newspaper of retailers and businesses who are suffering because of the recent rise in CBD parking fees,” says Mr O’Brien.

“In fact, Councillor Parkin is part of the majority that has ruled the council for at least the past six years.

“In that time the Wellington City Council has earned the distinction of being labelled the worst performing council in New Zealand by the same business interests he is trying to frighten,” Tim O’Brien says.

“Mr Parkin was part of the council majority which voted for the recent parking fee rises which have been applied regardless of demand or any other rational economic or transportation principle.”

On Monday the current Mayor, Ms Prendergast, told a candidates meeting in Island Bay that the fee rises had had ‘no effect on business’.

“This breathtaking statement came on the evening of the day that the Dominion Post reported retailers ranging from Lambton Quay flagship, Kirkcaldie and Stains, down to shops in the CBD fringe, as saying the fees are killing them,” Tim says.

“It only adds to the irony that Mr Blumsky has endorsed a mayor so devoted to crippling the city’s retail and small businesses when he himself swept to power on a promise of free weekend parking.”

“The current council majority is the one supportive of wiping out the businesses of hundreds of creative and other small businesses in the Te Aro area, Mr O’Brien says.

“Uncontrolled apartment development is killing off the city’s other cheap spaces and the lack of any policy for mixed use buildings or diverse working spaces is a key inhibitor of new and small businesses.

“At the same time – and despite the change of the rating differential in their favour – larger businesses are showing no confidence in the ability of Mayor Prendergast, Councillor Parkin and ‘their mates’ to foster any business other than property development.”

Mr O’Brien says that one of his first actions if he is elected will be to seek a review of the parking fees policy.

“This will be pro-business and pro-resident,” says Tim O’Brien.

Tim says the In With Tim campaign is based on the premise that businesses, whether small or large, and residents have a common interest in the city rather than an oppositional one.

Or view http://www.inwithtim.co.nz

(ENDS)


[Authorised for release by Timothy O’Brien, 24 Hargreaves Street, Wellington]

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