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Paeroa Four Square owner Tim Watts is thrilled that council will implement a 30-minute parking limit outside his store. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Businesses pleased about timed parking for Paeroa strip

Tim Watts was dancing inside his Paeroa supermarket after hearing the news that Hauraki District Council would be implementing a 30 minute parking limit outside his store.
The jovial response comes after the Paeroa Four Square owner requested council establish restricted parking due to the quick turnaround of his customers, and after witnessing a diminishing patronage when large events took place in the town.
“Around early last year we noticed that parking was a big issue, probably made worse with the Kōpū-Hikuai Road being shut,” he said, “but it was more of an issue of locals not being able to get in and visit the store.
“And while major events are wicked for the town, they don’t tend to support local businesses… we could see pretty easy drops in terms of patronage, and there was frustration from customers and things like that. So, while I’m a big fan of events, we didn’t want them to come at a cost to businesses.”
At its meeting on February 28, council voted to establish a 30 minute parking limit for the eight angled car parks outside Four Square on Normanby Rd. They also voted to create one mobility park along the same strip.
According to a report, on February 10 when the Highland Games and Tattoo was held in the domain, Paeroa Four Square saw a drop in patronage of 20 per cent and a decrease of 30 per cent revenue for the day.
This was backed up by Super Clearance manager Joel Bhagat, who also welcomed timed parking.
“Whenever there’s an event in the domain, there’s a lot of trouble with the parking. When we had the Highland Games, what we saw the whole day was full parking. We thought it might be busy for us and we might do some good business, but that didn’t happen,” he said.
“There’s a lot of unusual parking going on out here, and I think our customers might not come here because of it.”
Mayor Toby Adams told The Profile timed parking had been installed in certain areas along the main street in the past – the last one being in 2015, when council received a similar request from both Subway and Criterion Dairy, which was approved.
He agreed that particularly during events, parking overstayers did not do any justice to the local businesses. However, while implementing parking limits for the whole main street was pitched back in 2022, Mayor Adams said it wasn’t something the community was “ready for”.
“But if we can do it in a few strategic places, then I think we’re winning.”
The new parking limits will not be actively policed, but “self-policed”, and both Mayor Adams and Tim Watts encouraged people to abide by the signs.
“Our local people aren’t the people who are parking there all day, so I think there’ll now be a visual deterrent for our visitors that come through town and for events,” Tim said.
“Who knows what will happen in the future, but at least first and foremost, it’ll be a good visual to people that this is short-term parking and that’ll allow customers to visit local businesses and get on their way again.”