Offering parking service with a smile
You might have seen Jono Kitt in Christchurch city centre.
The 48-year-old has long blonde hair and describes himself as a community-minded hippy.
He is one of two unpaid parking attendants welcoming drivers at Good Spot car parks – a Gap Filler initiative which sees parking charges reinvested into east frame projects.
Kitt is at the Manchester St site weekdays, from 7am to 9am, rain or shine.
His day job is as a community development worker at Linwood-based Te Whare Roimata but said his aim at Good Spot was to put a smile on people’s faces as they rushed to work.
‘‘People seem to really enjoy the interaction. It might just be a quick hello but people like it,’’ he said.
‘‘We were even here in the winter months, it was pretty cold but people still liked to stop and talk.’’
As well as chatting to drivers, Kitt also offers free windscreen washing every Friday.
‘‘I think people can be a bit sceptical when they see this hippy walking towards them offering to wash their windscreen for free, but it’s all part of the service.’’
One happy customer was Rachael Barker, who works at the Department of Conservation.
She said she supported the Good Spot scheme and would not park anywhere else in the city.
‘‘I really like the concept here. I have even driven a wee bit further than I need to, just to use this car park.’’
Gap Filler operates two Good Spots as part of a land deal with property developer Fletcher Living.
The Bedford Row car park opened in December 2017 and the larger Manchester St lot opened in August.
Between them they have a capacity for 200 vehicles and more than 25,000 drivers have used the two sites since the scheme began.
Ryan Reynolds, co-director of Gap Filler, said the scheme was going better than expected.
‘‘We haven’t yet recovered all the costs of setting up the car parks; such as consents, earthworks, engineering, parking machines, wheel stops and signage but should do, hopefully some time in November or December.’’
Jono Kitt, left, works at the Gap Filler car park at the corner of Gloucester and Manchester between 7am9am, helping people sort their daily parking, and brighten their day with a friendly smile and a bit of a chat.