Carpark kerfuffle

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A former deputy mayor has slammed Queenstown’s council for hiring a security contractor to police its Christmas holidays overflow carpark.

“It’s a highly irresponsible use of ratepayers’ money,” Queenstowner Simon Hayes says.

For several festive seasons, the council’s used Queenstown’s Warren Park, by the former Wakatipu High School site, for free overflow parking.

Hayes adds: “I understand the council’s got to open and close it, but surely that only takes 10 minutes at the start of the day and the end of the day.

“There’s no other [council] carpark, that I can think of, that has a nursemaid looking after it – it’s unbelievable.”

Council comms advisor Rebecca Pitts says a parking ambassador – a role contracted to Cougar Security – is employed “to ensure cars park in an orderly fashion, given there are no line markings on the ground”.

“They also close the area at the end of the day and issue tickets to any cars who have overstayed.”

Pitts confirms this service these holidays cost $8,728.50.

She notes that in past years the park’s been well utilised, “however this year it has been much quieter”.

Council uses the same approach to overflow parking at Wanaka Showgrounds, she adds.

scoop@scene.co.nz