Startling video shows woman, child standing in Auckland car park to 'reserve' it, so driver can't pull in

Video and images have been posted online of two separate incidents where frustrated motorists were blocked from entering parks by people standing in them to reserve the space.

The practice is well documented overseas in countries like the USA, and is now being practiced by some in the increasingly sought after parks in Auckland.

A video posted online shows one such incident, which took place last week at the Westfield St Lukes Mall.

The driver repeatedly sounds his horn, but the woman will not budge, holding her concerned child behind her as she talks on the phone to someone, presumably telling them to hurry up and get to the park.

A commenter on the post said the woman eventually allowed the car to park there after a ten-minute standoff.

Another person posted images to a driver complaints page on Facebook yesterday showing a woman standing in a council car park on Auckland's Hobson Street.

A woman guards a public car park, reserving it for her friend, on Hobson Street.
A woman guards a public car park, reserving it for her friend, on Hobson Street. Source: Andy Chui

The woman reportedly waited there until another person arrived driving a late-model BMW convertible.

A car arrives after a woman blocked other motorists from entering it on Hobson Street in Auckland.
A car arrives after a woman blocked other motorists from entering it on Hobson Street in Auckland. Source: Andy Chui

Auckland Transport's Regional Compliance Manager Rick Bidgood said earlier this year that there is no legal basis for members of the public to reserve a park by standing in it, or by putting cones out.

However, Mr Bidgood urged drivers to consider giving up and finding another park in these scenarios, where the alternative could be an aggressive or even violent confrontation.

However, there are also no specific laws against people standing in a car park and refusing to vacate.

AA spokesperson Mark Stockdale said the AA was not familiar enough with the issue yet to make comment.

Online reactions to the practice were resoundingly negative, with most commenters indicating they thought parks should be 'first-in, first-served'.

"That happened to my wife and I and my wife just inched her way in....I was so proud," wrote one commenter.

"Bloody awful to see and she had her child with her to witness her behavior," said another.

One person pointed out there could be legitimate reasons for the reservation tactic.

"Perhaps someone inside is elderly and cannot walk far ... perhaps they need to load a heavy item ... just sayin," the commenter said.

The incident took place at St Lukes Mall, and eventually led to the woman giving up the park.

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