Dalziel sends letter over IRD staff ‘illegally’ parking

PROBLEM: A letter from city council Mayor Lianne Dalziel hasn't stopped parking issues in Russley. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel appears to have failed in a bid to get Inland Revenue staff to stop illegal parking near the Airport Business Park.

Russley residents are frustrated at the ongoing issue of business park staff parking their vehicles on their streets, in spite of time restrictions.

Letters released to The Star under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act show Ms Dalziel sent a letter regarding the concerns to the Inland Revenue in January.

The IRD is one of the companies based at the business park.

“Could you please advise what measures you are putting in place to ensure your staff are not contributing to this serious problem,” Ms Dalziel said.

She said there “was suggestion” that IRD had been paying for employees’ parking fines.

The IRD responded a month later, saying it does not “support” staff parking illegally and it doesn’t pay for its employees fines.

“There is no paid parking available near the business park – all paid car parks in the business park are full, and many people are on the waitlist,” the IRD said.

It also said the IRD “regularly reminds staff of their obligations with respect to parking” and it encourages staff to use alternative transport methods.

Ms Dalziel would not discuss the letters with The Star on Monday, saying it was more appropriate for any comment to come from the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Board.

The board’s chairman Sam MacDonald said he didn’t have a view on the letters but said the board is working with the city council to make sure it has the right “tools in the toolbox” to address the issue.

Avonhead Community Group chairman Professor Somnath Sarkar Bagchi said residents and their visitors struggle to find parking on their own streets.

Prof Bagchi said the city council and community board have been trying to resolve the issue but so far nothing has worked.

A city council spokeswoman said more than 1000 time-related infringement notices have been issued in the area since July 11.

Prof Bagchi believes changing the current restrictions to “resident-only parking” would solve the issue.