CCTV to watch over Wanaka car parking

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Plans by the Queenstown Lakes District Council to use CCTV cameras to monitor parking and issue fines in Wanaka have surprised the town’s community board.
Council media and channels adviser Jack Barlow said CCTV had been in operation in Wanaka for crime prevention and public safety since 2011, but due to the increasing pressure on parking in the town the council planned to install additional CCTV this year to help regulatory enforcement and ensure lawful and efficient use of parking spaces.
Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce said he was not aware of any plans to use CCTV in Wanaka for issuing parking fines.
‘‘It is something that hadn’t been brought to the community board, it is just something that has arbitrarily happened.’’
‘‘This is something that the regulatory and compliance people have decided themselves, so we haven’t had any opportunity to have any input into that discussion.’’
Mr Bruce said he could not speak on behalf of the community board because the board had not discussed it.
But his personal opinion was he was not particularly in favour of ‘‘mass surveillance’’.
Mr Barlow said footage from the CCTV cameras was deleted after a set period, and in most parts of the network the footage was stored for three months.
There was one feed for the council and police and they had security protocols to counter hard drive and recorder issues.
Mr Bruce said parking was obviously a major issue in Queenstown and Wanaka.
‘‘Parking is something that is very topical and I understand that it needs to be managed.’’
But there were other ways to help resolve the problem, he said.
A parking strategy for Wanaka was being prepared at the moment, ‘‘which hopefully will come up with some answers and decisions which will improve the parking situation’’.
New developments at Three Parks including the second New World supermarket that opened in December would ‘‘spread the load’’ and ease pressure on the central business district, Mr Bruce said.
One issue that was noticeable at this time of year was large campervans parking in town.
‘‘I think something that is important for us is to make some provision for those vehicles to have an area that they can park in without adding to the congestion.’’
All-day parking on the periphery for people working in the town centre ‘‘so they know they can park there all day without any risk of being fined’’ was another challenge to address.
‘‘I can see there are a good number of things that we can do to help the situation,’’ he said.
Mr Barlow said as CCTV cameras were rolled out, the locations would be advised via the council website and social media.
The council issued 6075 parking infringements for the Wanaka area last year.