Students who drive their cars to South Campus have shed light on a significant parking issue in a new survey.
The survey, conducted by AUTSA South Campus Representative, Daniel Scott, found approximately 90 percent of the 383* AUT students who took part had some problem with the cost of parking on the campus.
In the wake of these findings, Scott told Debate his concerns lay around students who reported to him that the parking is so prohibitively expensive that it’s stopped them from attending their classes.
“For example, for students who live out West it’s inefficient for some of them to be taking public transport all the way,” he said.
The cost of all-day parking at South Campus is $7.50 with cash and $8 by card and the fines are generally $45 for breach of certain conditions.
Since being appointed as South Campus Representative, Scott says he has fielded numerous complaints about the space, ‘Carpark 1’, which can fit 368 vehicles at its capacity.
Difficulties for students noted in the survey include managing the cost of the parking on top of childcare and petrol related expenses.
Students also reported the machines as being outdated, frequently breaking down and leading to long lines as tickets can only be issued in physical form.
Debate would like to make particular mention of the people who seemed more concerned about the state of the ground than anything else, describing it as “coarse”, “unkempt” and having “crusty ass gravel.”
Issues with Wilson Parking and the $45 fines was another point raised by a number of students.
AUT Associate Director of Facilities Support, Sonia Simpson, told Debate the parking fines go straight to Wilson Parking and are less significant than other parking spaces.
Simpson said furthermore that “Fines at other parking facilities are $65+.”
To compare the fines with other campus parking in the area, Debate looked at the Manukau Institute of Technology and found it fines its students the same $45 for not displaying a valid ticket.
The University of Auckland were also approached but seemed confused by the question and rather ominously told Debate to “follow the signs” on the campus.
When questioned on the potential to get parking fines abolished altogether, Simpson responded that it was “unlikely in the current situation.”
“We are exploring ways to make it less likely for people to be in breach for example, using a parking app.”
Simpson also said “Our issue with discounting parking is that non-students will take advantage – currently we cannot differentiate.”
AUT Head of Communications, Alison Sykora, told Debate that there is “quite a bit of work going on in this space, but nothing we are able to talk about at the moment.”
More on this soon.
*This figure was valid at the time of printing.