'Here's the real story' - Wellington council hits back after being accused of expensive Lions campervan parking

The Wellington City Council are hitting back after news broke today of Lions' fans supposedly being charged $130 a night for a campervan parking space. 

"Here's the real story," the council said in a statement. "Two UK travel companies organising Lions tour camper van packages came to the City Council and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (Wreda) earlier this year – they wanted secure sites exclusively for their clients as close as possible to the Wellington CBD."

"The tour companies paid up-front for these sites and then passed on the costs to their clients as part of the packages."

It said $100 of the nightly fee went to the "considerable costs" of security, toilets, tour hosts and electricity at the sites, and for the temporary removal of revenue-generating carparks. 

The tour company charged the other $30. 

"We are not into gouging camper vanners – we want people to come to Wellington to have a good time."

"We're expecting hundreds more camper vanners to turn up in the next 24 hours in Wellington – let's be clear – they won't be charged $130 a night – they will be parking for free all over town."

"We are not into gouging camper vanners – we want people to come to Wellington to have a good time."

Viewers on TVNZ 1's Breakfast were divided on the issue. 

One person wrote: "That is a total rip-off. These people have pumped a lot of money into the New Zealand economy while they're here for this tour. To treat them like this and rip them off is just not on."

The Breakfast presenter has made sure three Lions fans had an extra memorable trip to New Zealand Source: Breakfast

However some saw a different view, with one person saying: "Definitely think there are two sides to this. The campervans are staying in a central city carpark, right next to the harbour and Te Papa - prime location. This would make for a very convenient enjoyable stay."

"Whilst they're there locals can't use the carpark over this period. So it's inconvenient for locals, and the revenue won't be collected for this."

Rugby fans are paying four times more than usual, and must stay three nights. Source: Breakfast