Suburban spat over embassy carparks

12:46 pm on 16 July 2016

An undiplomatic spat has been brewing in a Wellington suburb, where an embassy request for three exclusive carparks has upset local residents.

The suburb of Hataitai in Wellington.

The parking spaces in dispute are in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The embassy of the Republic of Iran is located on Te Anau Road in Hataitai, above Evans Bay.

Diplomats at the mission now want to have three carparks on the street outside their building reserved for their use.

But local residents think their own vehicles should have equal right of access and have objected to the embassy's plans.

Since then the Iranian ambassador, Jalaladin Namini Miyanji, said the embassy agreed to use the carparks only during business hours and on weekdays, because of residents' concerns.

The embassy asked that the car parks be restricted for its exclusive use between 9am and 6pm.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) confirmed the embassy had requested parking, citing security considerations.

A ministry spokeswoman said it occasionally received requests from embassies for parking restrictions outside premises.

"We have referred the request to the responsible local authority, in this case the Wellington City Council, for consultation and consideration.

"We understand the council is currently consulting with local residents as part of its decision-making process."

Wellington Council's transport and urban development committee chair Andy Foster said the committee would consider the matter in August or September.

'We have been requested by MFAT on behalf of the Iranian Embassy to reserve some carparks outside the embassy for diplomatic staff, probably for security reasons," he said.

"We notified it as a traffic resolution, and most of the local residents have objected and said they want those car parking spaces to be available for anyone to park in.

"As a result the matter will now have to be decided by a council committee."