MIKE ROKE: Where's the heart, Wilson Parking?

02/03/2017
No one gets into business just to have fun and take part, it's not little league soccer, I get it. It is all about making money and that is fair enough, you have to pay the bills somehow.

What I don't like though is when making money isn't enough. You have to make more money and more money. Shareholders are demanding why last quarter's profit wasn't as big as the previous quarter. You guys know you still made a profit, right?

Nope - that's not enough. Profits are stagnant. We are going to have to raise prices and cut expenses. Get rid of that fruit basket that gets delivered to the staff room each morning. Cut those insurance policies and fuel cards. In fact, we should cut a few staff. Don't worry about how that family will pay their mortgage, our shareholders want that Caribbean vacation.

Corporate greed really is the worst of human traits.

There are many companies I could point at here but I'm going to choose one that is irking me on a personal level currently, Wilson Parking. I'm sure you know the one. It's the one that makes its owners, the Kwok family and its shareholders millions of dollars each year by charging us outrageous fees for leaving our car on one of the many 2.4 x 4.8m concrete spaces they own.

The spaces that are irking me most are the ones in the two carpark buildings they own by Auckland Hospital.

If you were to visit a friend or loved one in hospital for the day you can expect to part with $18 when you return to your car. Now you probably wouldn't mind that if the money was going back to the hospital to help pay for much needed equipment or more nurses. But no, that money goes into the Kwok families pockets.

To be fair, as a parent of a child in hospital  I can get a parking chit that reduces my daily fee to only $10. Which would be OK if only in for one or two days, but when you are in for one or two weeks (or more), that money adds up.

And think for a minute, Wilson Parking, about who you are taking that money from . It is coming from parents with sick kids or people with sick spouses.

You really are profiting from other people's misfortune . No one is at hospital because they want to be there.

Can you find it in your heart, Wilson Parking, not to charge people in long term hospital stays for parking? Is there a chance that your record profits could cope with a slight dent to help these families out?

I know I am living in fairytale land, but wouldn't it be nice if big companies cared about their staff, customers and community just as much as money?

MIKE ROKE IS TECHNICAL PRODUCER FOR ALISON MAU, 3-6PM WEEKDAYS ON RADIOLIVE