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First Hour Free Parking Extended

The first hour of free parking has been extended for Blenheim and Picton’s central business districts after Councillors endorsed that the initiative remain in place for now.

The policy was considered as part of the Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-2031 which was ratified during a meeting of the full Council on Thursday.

Parking portfolio holder Councillor Brain Dawson said Council had received a lot of positive feedback from shoppers and retailers about the policy since its introduction in October last year.

“Encouraging people into the Picton and Blenheim CBDs is vital for our retail and hospitality sector. We want to make it as easy as possible for Marlburians to get out and support our local shops, cafes and restaurants,” Councillor Dawson said.

However, in order to retain the first hour free, parking prices after the first hour will increase by 20 percent.

“These increases are necessary in allowing the first hour of parking to remain, without passing the cost on to all ratepayers,” Councillor Dawson said.

“Despite the increase, our parking still remains relatively affordable compared to other similar centres throughout the country,” he said.

From Thursday 1 July the general kerbside parking (zone 1) rate in Blenheim will increase from $1.50 to $1.80 per hour. This is the first fee increase since 2015.

Hourly parking fees in other areas, such as the Alfred Street car park building will increase from $1.00 to $1.20 per hour, while all-day car parking (zone 3) in Blenheim will increase from $4.00 to $4.80 and from $5.00 to $6.00 in Picton.

Those with Council parking leases and permits will also incur a slight increase.

Be sure to keep a collection of loose coins if you usually pay for your parking with cash as the Pay by Plate machines are not able to issue change due to a security mechanism to prevent vandalism. You can still pay for your parking using your debit card, credit card or via the PayMyPark app on your mobile phone.

All parking fees will be shown on the Pay by Plate meters in Blenheim and Picton and on the PayMyPark app.

For further information and a breakdown of the new parking charges visit:


Summary of key public parking fee changes:

AreaOld tariffNew tariff
On-street (zone 1)$1.50 per/hour$1.80 per/hour
Hourly rate (zones 2, 3 & 4)$1.00 per/hour$1.20 per/hour
Blenheim all-day rate (including Alfred Street car park building)$4.00 per/day$4.80 per/day
Picton all-day rate$5.00 per/day$6.00 per/day

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