Rotorua Lakes Council - make parking free in the CBD to support local businesses!

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The New Zealand government has pledged millions of dollars to help small and medium size businesses survive the devastating impact of Covid-19 through the Wage Subsidy and the Small Business Loan scheme. They have done this because they recognise how Covid-19 has brought small businesses to their knees and how essential the survival of small and medium businesses are to the recovery of the New Zealand economy – both as future employers and as contributors to the local economy all over New Zealand. The NZME campaign to Go Local! continues to grow and grow, with Kiwis recognising that if they do not support their local, independent businesses, they will lose them forever.

So is Rotorua Lakes Council going to get behind the campaign to support local businesses and demonstrate its commitment to small and medium size businesses in Rotorua? At the moment, you can park for FREE to shop at all large, multinational and international outlets in Rotorua; K Mart, Countdown, McDonalds, Noel Leeming and so on. But if you want to support a local business in the CBD such as your favourite café or restaurant, an independent bookstore, a florist, homeware or picture framing shop you have to PAY for the privilege! 

By penalising small and medium sized businesses by charging for parking in the CBD, the Council is creating a barrier for small and medium sized businesses trying to get back on their feet after the biggest economic shock of our lifetime. Rotorua Lakes Council is effectively disadvantaging small local businesses over large corporations, and thereby putting thousands of jobs and livelihoods at risk.

As a small business owner, I want to be able to tell my loyal customers, ‘we are open for business again and you don’t have to pay at the complicated parking meters anymore! You can park in the CBD, support your local businesses and not have to pay for the privilege.’ Free parking will be a meaningful boost to businesses just when we need it most.

So come on Rotorua Lakes Council – if you care about the Rotorua economy, if you care about local businesses, if you care about jobs and livelihoods, if you really want to Build Back Better make parking in the CBD FREE for now and forever, and give us little guys a fighting chance! Now is your chance to make if fair, make it right, and make it work!