Pay By Plate Machines Gone! Update


How bizarre. Now you see them now you don’t!

Something strange has happened with those controversial new pay and display machines at Wynyard Quarter’s Jellicoe Street where you had to put in your registration details and could not pass on the ticket to someone if you had time owing.

The introduction of the machines were first revealed by AKT on August 13.

With additional publicity since from the Herald, and my Saturday post below revealing the machines would be introduced elsewhere, the debate has intensified.

Last night Auckland Transport’s Communications Manager Sharon Hunter said below in the comments (look for one from AKT timed  6.06pm Aug 30) as a clarification that putting your rego details in is “only one option.”

Which was odd as those machines did not appear to give you those options. At least not clearly.

Well today those new machines have been wiped out and replaced with the old machines which do give you the option to pass on your ticket.

This is what you’ll find tonight.

TONIGHT: Old machines back at Wynyuard

Two of these conventional machines  have replaced new ones that Auckland Transport had  said would be rolled out elsewhere.

Of course this could just be a temporary move that marks tomorrow as the International Day of Kindness where you are encouraged to do nice things to people like pass on your parking time owing.

Or it could be a major reversal after the public said they weren’t ready for the move.


Below if the original update:

Auckland Transport says those new look pay and display machines at Wynyard Quarter which ask drivers for their registration number are a first step towards a pay-by-plate parking system.

Three machines have already been installed in the newly developed Jellicoe Street carpark with eight more being fitted in Takapuna next week and four on Waiheke Island. The new look machines will operate in exactly the same way as the existing ones but drivers will also be required to enter their registration details.

When they first appeared the other weekend at the newly opened Wynard, I reported there were many grumbles about the fact you can not pass your ticket on to someone else if you do not use up your time.

My report has been picked up by the Herald this morning which has quoted some of the comments on the earlier AKT post.

You are asked for your car licence number

And there were long quues because people got to the machine and 9 out of 10 could not remember their car number plate.

Long queues when people try to remember their plate number

Auckland Transport says Takapuna was chosen as one of the first areas for installation due to the number of existing machines that have been vandalised. The units at Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island need to be replaced due to general wear and tear.

Because the new machines will record registration details, lost tickets will be easier to verify. Having the registration number recorded on the parking receipt, will enable all types of vehicles, including motorcycles, to park in a pay and display area that is serviced by these new machines.

The units have the facility to eventually operate without the need for paper tickets. Drivers will be able to pay parking charges simply by inputting their registration number upon entry and exit. The technology to support a new pay-by-plate parking system is currently being developed by Auckland Transport.

The new machines will be automatically scheduled for a service and will be able to communicate any additional maintenance requirements.




  1. C McKenzie says:

    Well the money grab continues. Put your plate # on the parking ticket,,,,no handing over to the next parker.
    This is another case of making it difficult for the user to make it easier for the company controlling the alleged service! Used one of these in the US, had to walk back to the rental car to read off the # to then enter in the machine. What idiot designed this machine? Haven’t they seen a qwerty keyboard??
    Again, more money being extracted from Auckland’s ratepayers in the name of progress!!!

  2. Adam says:

    License plate for parking not a revenue maximizing effort? Suuure, call them on it, allow users to credit unused time!

  3. Moira says:

    Are you not paying for the right to use that parking space for a pre-determined period of time ? Maybe equivalent to the movie theatre saying you have to provide ID for your movie ticket or you can’t sit in that seat …. How does innovation give the customer more choice in this situation ?

  4. George says:

    Having to decide parking duration in advance is a scam. Either I choose an hour, meet a friend, stop for coffee and a chat and over-run by half an hour and get fined, OR I choose an hour for a meeting which is over in 15 minutes., and now cannot gift the remainder.
    What happens if I drive across the CBD and park a second time to avoid walking up and down our steep hills? Necessary for many people! The whole farce begins again!
    Payment should be on the basis of time actually used, with a maximum allowable of course. This could be a pan-CBD limit allowing a trip to take in SEVERAL localities! Surely new technology can cope with this simple concept?
    Oh, has anyone heard of park-and-ride. Anything going in Auckland?

  5. John says:

    Once again, another revenue gathering exercise for the council. And what is particularly galling is when communications manager Sharon Hunter says it is “all about giving more choice to the customer through innovation”. Surely they must think we are imbeciles to trot out a lame excuse like that. Greed is the only motivating factor here, shame on the council for trying to spin it any other way.

  6. Andrew says:

    The Herald sure is strange in which articles of yours it decides to go and publish stuff about. Granny Herald, where’s the articles on the disgraceful behaviour shown by idiots at Wynyard and other shared and pedestrian spaces parking in pedestrian areas, across crossings, and wherever else the he’ll they like? Don’t want to offend drivers, do you? Go on, be actually controversial!

  7. Chris says:

    The time has been paid for, Auckland Transport has no right to dictate who uses it.

  8. Pim says:

    I only think that this is a good idea if they don’t need to print out tickets. Otherwise what’s the point? Just a money grabbing excercise.

  9. Punty says:

    This is so pathetic it beggars belief… They say it’s not about revenue? Apparently it’s about ‘being innovative’? what a crock - Come on AT we’re not stupid out here - the only benefit of this ‘innovation’ is to you, not the Public who pay your wages. If I’ve paid for a parking space for an hour and only use it for 30 mins, give me one damn good reason (not associate with you leeching more money out of the Public) why I shouldn’t ‘donate’ that time to someone else. Expect vandalism…

  10. Feijoa says:

    @C McKenzie - what percentage of tickets do you think get handed over and how much time do you think they’d normally have on them at that point?

    It might work in private pay-and-display car parks if they have all day deals, but on the street if people are paying for 1 or 2 hours I would think it will be less of a deal. Agree the new machines will be less convenient to use though, particularly without QWERTY keyboard which just seems dumb.

  11. penfold says:

    We have this system in Calgary, Canada. Each section of parking is a different parking zone, so you have to enter the zone and registration plate details. I use work utes (I don’t actually own a car) and so the number changes regularly so I take a photo of the plate number when I park the ute, almost everyone has a cell phone and almost every cell phone has a camera so this would work for most.
    You can request a ticket but don’t need to display anything. I always get a receipt because I have heard stories of screw ups in their system. The advantage for the parking wardens is they simply drive around the city using vehicles with a number of externally mounted cameras (in -35°C temperatures this is quite handy) meaning they can cover a much larger area than traditional parking wardens on foot. For people that use the system a lot you can get a tag on /tag off app for your smartphone so you only pay exactly what you use.
    Rather than looking at it as maximizing revenue I consider it as encouraging people to pay for the service.

  12. richard says:

    I agree with Chris, the space has been paid for.
    Surely you are renting a car parking space for a period of time and if you sublet to somebody else for the residue so what?

    The passing the ticket I have found not very common here but a regular habit in the UK.

    A second issue is privacy, which we are mad about today??? Who gains access to this detail and do they declare not to disclose it? If these meters were connected to a central computer peoples movements could be traced, not a bad thing in many cases but another “Big Brother” step.

    I believe there is more to this than collecting money.

  13. richard says:

    I note also the machine makers can’t spell, licence in this instance is a noun and is ce, to license is a verb

  14. Peter says:

    What a load of buls..t, Ms Hunter as quoted in todays Herald says, “Aucklands Transports aim was to put the customers first”??. How is that? am I missing something??
    They are just outright greedy. They want to get payment twice, once for the unused portion of the previous person then again for the next Customer.
    I would suggest the greedy buggers get that 98% of the time anyway.

  15. vinny says:

    the fact that people give tickets away to eachother is evidence in itself that parking is WAY too expensive; the practice is a natural reaction that the public clearly feel an urge to “get back” at the greedy jerks by sharing tickets. so now the scumbags are trying to one up the public, but what will inevitibly happen is all their stupid machines will get smashed by angry citizens in an act of justifiable civil disobedience. :D stuff you auckland transport, you SUCK. why the hell dont they just get rid of all the crappy enforcement, the meters, the staff, the wardens, the beurocratic crap that eats all their money, and build us some more carparks!!!!! parking is an “industry” <- or a mockery of one at anyrate.

  16. Newnewt says:

    Auckland Transport appear to be following the lead of Tournament Parking and Wilson Parking, who several years ago instituted the practice of writing the licence plate on tickets manually issued for all day parking in the car parks around Gaunt St. Strangely, tickets issued from the machines in the same car parks do not require licence plate details to be entered.

  17. Faye L says:

    I just can’t believe that Auckland Transport thinks this is OK. If I hire the parking space for a period of time surely it’s mine to do with as I may - either forfeit the left over time or give it away. I see it as a form of theft AND THAT’S NOT OK. Maybe ‘Fair Go’ could take this one up?

  18. tbird says:

    It’s amazing how news is written nowadays. I’m not complaining, but it’s weird how they summarise a blog post, then quote a couple of comments, and then it’s a newspaper article.

    It’s good publicity for akt, but they quoted me and I’m an idiot! :-D

    Agree with others regarding “more choice to the customer through innovation”. I can’t believe people can verbalise statements like that without cringing intensely on the inside. Of course, you’ve got to remember that we’re not the customer in this case - we’re the product. The customer is the council who bought these machines.

    Sharon Hunter would earn much more respect if she said “it’s another source of income that can supply the council with money without needing to increase rates.” Honesty raises less ire than being fobbed off with marketing-speak.

  19. Feijoa says:

    @vinny, how many car parks would you need if they weren’t enforced? Who would pay if there were no charges?

    May I suggest there are even greater issues we should be getting outraged about:
    - Airlines. If you buy a return ticket, why can’t you give the return leg to someone else if you only wanted 1 way? Would be much cheaper
    - Vodafone and Telecom. Why can’t I get a 2000 minutes per month deal and then share the unused minutes with 10 friends?
    - Valentines. You pay a lot for buffet, but the greedy jerks don’t let you share your plate if you have a friend with you. What do you think, go smash their restaurants up as “an act of justifiable civil disobedience”?

  20. Jon C says:

    @tbird You’re famous!

  21. Matt L says:

    Jon C - I thought they get annoyed with you if you post things from their articles yet they are happy copy yours and your readers, it seems they have double standards (but that is hardly surprising)

  22. tbird says:

    Not to stretch analogies but this:
    “Why can’t I get a 2000 minutes per month deal and then share the unused minutes with 10 friends?”

    It’s more like having Vodafone charge you extra for letting someone else borrow your phone to make a quick call.

    When you go to a buffet, there’s an implied contract between you and the restaurant that you pay for you to eat. When you get a street carpark, the contract we assume is that we get time in a park that can be used by someone after we leave - it’s a remnant from the days of these things. It’s hard to change a social rule like this.

  23. weka says:

    They shud make us pay just for the time we park there instead of paying for 1hour and you only need it for half an hour!! Saves us money!! but then again thats why they put those machines up to take our money!

  24. Rod says:

    So lets look at the other side of the coin. If I don’t use my time paid for and can’t give it away I must then be entitled to a refund. Without doubt I will be fined if I park without paying. Is it not double dipping on the part of the council if I do not get credit but they can get paid twice for the same parking space ?.

  25. Alex says:

    The worst people have to say is that they can’t give their unused time to someone else if they don’t use it? Pretty weak really. If you don’t have anything convincing to say….

  26. Owen Thompson says:

    Newnewt, I used to be one of the monkey’s on minimum wage who did this. Tremendous increase in workload with no staff consultation, just to prevent a few customers passing on their ticket.

  27. Kayaker says:

    I parked for 60 minutes today, but paid for 120. Dear Auckland City, may I please have a refund for the unused time? Look forward to your response.

  28. rtc says:

    Jeez there are a lot of whingers - personally I’d rather Auckland Council sold off all that land so that you people couldn’t park there and I wouldn’t have to listen to everyone whinging that their parking isn’t cheap enough.

  29. penfold says:

    @vinny So after destroying the meters, more will be purchased and the cost of parking will go up for the damage that has to be paid for. Then those that destroyed the meters get to complain about the fact that parking costs have gone up.

  30. kiwiboss says:

    So now Auckland Transport will get part payment of the same park 2 or 3 times!!!!! What absolute robbery!! Is there no end to this community abuse by the people whose salary WE pay!! Anyone have the phone no. for the SFO?

  31. George D says:

    Yeah, whingers. You pay for a gym membership and only go once a week - you don’t get to give the rest to a friend.

    Most things are like this. Parking at Wynard is a privilege, not a right.

  32. p Staines says:

    Its about the principal, not whinging.

    I compare it to buying a sandwich eating half and offering the rest, to lets say, a homeless man. The cafe owner rushes out and grabs the sandwich and throws it in the bin.

    Lets start a campaign where everyone puts “AKTSUX” in as our registration plate.

  33. Feijoa says:

    Are people aware that if you go in a timed Wilson car park and park for 1 hour & 1 min you may be charged TWO hours, even though YOU ‘rented’ the space for TWO hours you can’t give away to a NEEDY MEMBER OF PUBLIC searching DESPERATELY for a free car park AND they include all the time you drive around in the car park SEARCHING for a car park so maybe you only got to use it for FIFTY FRICKIN MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Front page on NZ Herald tomorrow?

  34. Mark says:

    Real money grab will be for mopeds/motorbikes, now they don’t need to display a ticket.

    But what about the privacy issues? how long does this get stored ie your number plate/location/ time?

    At the very least I could see it feeding back to a database for parking purposes ie how long do people really stay, what is the real turnover. But what if they keep it?
    I might not like people seeing my car parked outside the pub all the time:)

  35. Alex says:

    People complaining about having to pre-pay for a set period of time… How does this differ from any other pay and display carpark? Umm, it doesn’t, they’ve been around for years…. Parking is small fry, save your gripes for bigger fish.

  36. Gus says:

    Can we get a show of hands as to who here passes on their partly unused parking ticket to the next driver on a regular basis?

    I don’t think I need to say any more.

    Quit your moaning, they’re not really going to make much more money from this, if any, unless there’s already some enormous hidden group of parking ticket gifters out there somewhere.

  37. Ian Taylor says:

    Nothing in the bylaws about registration numbers on parking receipts. So just enter any old garbage … how about “FOAT”!

  38. Andrew says:

    Actually Gus, I’ve done that when I’ve overpaid and left when there was more than 30 minutes on the ticket.

    Although I can count the number of times I’ve done so on one hand, as I only take a car into a place with parking meters if I’m moving equipment or in an emergency.

  39. joust says:

    I’ve given mine away at the Aotea sq. council park in the evenings a few times in the past.

  40. tbird says:

    Whenever I get the chance I always try to pass on a ticket. I don’t hang around too long, but if I see someone I’ll give it to them. Not everyone in the country is antisocial and selfish.

  41. Michelle says:

    If it was actually for the consumers, then why weren’t we asked first!? There are far too many paid parking areas as it is and public transport isn’t the greatest so we loose everytime! Not impressed at all!

  42. Paul says:

    If this ain’t greed of the highest order I don’t know what is … “SHAME ON YOU SUPER CITY!!!”

  43. Tom says:

    Whats Wrong with the current pay and display machines ???

  44. isaac says:

    so now one of the great advantages of owning/using a scooter/motorcycle just went out the window… free parking aound town was one of the reasons i just brough a scooter……

  45. AKT says:

    This from Sharon Hunter Communications Manager
    Auckland Transport
    Auckland Transport would like to clarify ‘Pay by Number Plate’. The option to do so is currently available only in the Jellicoe Street car park site and is one option among others including purchasing a paper ticket. The convenience Pay by Number Plate offers motorists who wish to use it, means they do not have to return to their vehicles to place a ticket on the dashboard of their vehicles. The option has been made available as Auckland Transport is replacing obsolete machines as part of its on-going maintenance programme. Those who wish to continue to use paper tickets and pass on any unexpired time to others- random acts of kindness- can continue to do so.

  46. Owen Thompson says:

    So, it’s now optional to enter our licence plate number?

  47. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    Always was. Entering by number plate is only one option if you find it easier not to have to return to your car to place a ticket on the dashboard- adding convenience for the customer- but if you want a paper ticket- yes they are available as a choice as well. Giving a broader range of choices to the customer.

  48. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    Always was- just an option

  49. Ex AGS says:

    I’m confused Sharon.
    I thought you said in the Herald it was compulsory.
    Is this a backdown because of the outrage?
    in the photo it does not give you an option.

  50. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    Hi there, no no comment around compulsory. The machines shown in the pic on this blog are able to do pay by plate and issue paper tickets- no back down- options were always available.

  51. Feijoa says:

    I liked the idea of not having to print out - to save the back and forwards to put the ticket in the car (esp. annoying if the nearby machine is out of order) and also for the slight environmental benefit of not printing.

    I hope they’re just fixing something (QWERTY keyboard?) and will bring them back.

  52. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    The machines are exactly the same machines- the Pay by Plate function has just been disabled

  53. tbird says:

    Well I think you can chalk this up as a success!

    According to Sharon, these machines never forced a person to enter their number plate. I can’t really comment, because I have never used one. But from the look of the lines I assume people think it is necessary.

    But your coverage of this matter has helped make a change. So to all the people calling us whingers: that relic of NZ’s pommy heritage (whinging) has got this squeaky wheel greased. (A pity it hasn’t yet worked with the MP3 downloading law.)

    Hopefully they update the machines to make it clearer that the plate entry is optional.

  54. sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    To the last person who posted- you are right- Pay By Plate was an option which showed up on the face plate of the three new parking machines. We disabled that option due to the public’s confusion - we obviously didn’t explain it clearly enough- that it was only ONE option not the only option. Better explanations next time round. It is a useful option if you park your car a long way away from a machine- are in a hurry to get to work etc and don’t have time to return to your car to put a ticket on a dashboard.

  55. Owen Thompson says:

    It clearly was not optional. Go and read 1984 by George Orwell.

  56. Reeck says:

    AT is all about revenue


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