First of new parking permits snapped up

Holders of new Queenstown Lakes District Council parking permits have three months for the system to be bedded in before enforcement starts.

Yesterday the council officially introduced four new parking permits, part of a new traffic and parking bylaw which came into effect on March 1.

They included permits for small passenger service vehicles, of which 150 - each costing $500 a year - were initially made available.

It appears all have been snapped up.

In a statement the council said about 150 applications which met all the requirements had been received so far.

About 10% of those had come from independent operators.

''Over the next several days we will be looking at demand to determine where the permit cut-off threshold will be.''

The small passenger service permits were issued to vehicles annually on a rolling expiration, like a car registration.

The NZ Transport Agency already had specific requirements for small passenger service vehicle operators using ranks in Queenstown, however, the new framework enables the council to have oversight for the first time.

A code of practice for the use of the ranks had been agreed between the council and major small passenger service vehicle operators - all permit applicants were required to sign a copy of it, and it was to be adhered to.

Under the bylaw, permits could be revoked on a single, verifiable breach.

Other new permits introduced from yesterday are for those aged 75 and over, providing free parking, which cost $5 every three years; temporary permits, designed for events, construction zones and short-term use, at $25 a day or up to $100 a week; and an annual community service permit, for groups like St John or Citizens Advice and church staff to park in certain areas, for $25 a year.

Enforcement action would begin from October 1.