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National parking management guidance


National Parking Management Guidance provides consistent, best-practice support for the management of public parking throughout New Zealand. This guidance is intended to support councils in development of parking strategies and parking management plans.

National Parking Management Guidance [PDF, 3.7 MB]

For our towns and cities to thrive, people need to be able to move around easily and have a range of choices about how they get to work, connect with whānau and friends, and access services.

An integrated transport system is an equitable system for different user groups – offering a mix of reliable, resilient transport options that keeps people and products safely moving, and keeps people and places connected.

Put simply, more space on roads and streets increases local and central government’s ability to increase options for people to make choices about how they move and what they move on.

Lifting the role of Waka Kotahi in public conversations about parking management and providing guidance for the transport sector is a key intervention in our mode-shift plan Keeping Cities Moving. It outlines how Waka Kotahi, in partnership with others, will help address the causes of car dependency and increase wellbeing and equity in New Zealand through mode-shift to public transport, walking and cycling.

Keeping Cities Moving

National Parking Management Guidance, released in December 2021 also supports the National Policy Statement for Urban Development 2020, developed by the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. The NPS-UD includes a policy that requires local authorities to remove minimum car parking requirements from developments, other than for accessible car parks.

National Policy Statement for Urban Development 2020(external link)

What’s inside this guidance?

Three main sections:

  • An overview – explaining what parking management is, why it is important, and the strategic context of the guidance.
  • The parking management framework – providing guidance on the development of parking strategies, and parking management plans.
  • Parking management approaches - provides guidance on the range of approaches to managing public parking and includes guidance on parking technology and successful public engagement approaches.

How was it developed?

Parking and urban mobility specialists in our Waka Kotahi Programme and Standards team created the guide by applying global best practice, local case studies and stakeholder feedback into a fit-for-purpose approach for transport planning and land-use in Aotearoa. Core stakeholders included the NZ Parking Association and the Ministry for the Environment.

A draft version of this guidance was available for consultation from November 2020 to March 2021. The finalised guide reflects feedback from three health organisations, five councils, four Auckland local boards, five individuals, and Waka Kotahi teams.

In addition to the document, our Programme and Standards offered online training for planners and others to help adopt the National Parking Management Guidance and build capability.

Will this guidance be updated?

Some areas of parking management were determined to be out of scope for this guidance – electric vehicle parking, privately managed parking, park and ride schemes, and parking around schools and health precincts. This means road controlling authorities and parking operators may still encounter challenges in these areas. Although the general principles of the National Parking Management Guidance may still be of use. Subject matter experts in these areas may identify a need for updated guidance based on sufficient demand or significant changes in best practice or technology.

Related guidance

Traffic control devices manual (TCD manual) – Part 13: Parking controls

The National Parking Management Guidance complements other Waka Kotahi guides and information relating to land-use and transport planning integration, urban form, urban design and street design – including speed management.

There is a strong mandate for improvement and change in management of managing limited street space. Improvements will deliver an integrated transport system that reduces harm as well as reducing dependency in urban areas on private vehicles to support public health, environmental and access outcomes.

The following Waka Kotahi guides are referenced where relevant:

Other guidance sources such as local NZ guides and Austroads are also referenced where relevant.

Help us to help you

If you have any questions on the National Parking Management Guidance or want to know how we can help, email us: