Lakes District Hospital is changing its parking policy because of the way some members of the public are using its car-park.

From the New Year anybody using the car-park for non-hospital business could have their vehicle towed away.

The hospital's car-park has 38 free car parking spaces for patients, staff and visitors. 

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However, it appears that members of the public have been using the spaces for free long-term parking when they use the nearby Queenstown Airport.

"We know this because we see people taking suitcases from their cars and walking through the hospital grounds to the airport," Lakes District Hospital operations manager Janeen Holmes said.

"Signage advising the car-park rules is already in place. However this is being ignored by some people, so we now have to look at the towing option to ensure parking spaces are used by hospital patients, visitors and staff only."

Signs will be altered to advise that unauthorised vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense.

"We have limited parking spaces and need these for patients, visitors and staff."

The hospital also has permit parking spaces on Douglas Street at the front of the building.

Staff have been issued with permits and temporary visitor parking permits are available from reception.

"We thank visitors for their cooperation in helping us with this change – and we hope it means they are more likely to be able to find a park when they need it."