The founder of Tenix, Carlo Salteri, died on Tuesday night in Sydney, aged 89 according to a Sydney Morning Herald report. Carlo Salteri was one of four Australian based directors (including his sons Robert and Paul Salteri) of Tenix Solutions NZ Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenix Pty Ltd in Australia.
Tenix Solutions NZ Ltd holds the Wellington City Council parking enforcement and infringement contract, and subcontracts the Parkwise division of Armourguard to do the work.
Mr Salteri was Australia’s 15th richest man with a personal fortune of $NZ1 billion. His revenues from Wellington’s parkers would have been pocket money for expenses such as Italian suits and Ferrari cars. He has a 39-ft yacht called Frigga.
He had recently sold his interests in Tenix Defence (makers of the ANZAC frigates) to BAE Systems (the world’s second largest defence company) to focus on parking enforcement businesses in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. It seems parking enforcement is a more profitable industry than defence. Tenix, through the incentives it offers and receives, has made Wellington an extremely profitable part of its business and a case study for maximising revenues.
There has been confusion this year about targets, incentives and rewards offered to increase earnings. These are two separate issues according to the documentary evidence. Tenix states:
“Incentives were introduced to improve employee morale, increase motivation, encourage productivity and reduce errors.”
“In addition to the rigorous new training programs, a Rewards and Recognition program was introduced, offering staff the opportunity to be recognised by their colleagues for the role they played in helping maintain a safer and fairer community in Wellington city.”
Rewards are offered to staff by their colleagues to recognise good work, for example helping someone (the ipod/MP3 sideshow), but incentives are also offered to either staff or contractors or subcontractors for increasing efficiency and productivity (i.e. issuing more tickets). As they form part of commercially sensitive contracts few would have seen them. If the council would be happy to disclose the contracts, that would be great.
There is an ongoing debate in Wellington about whether parking wardens are over zealous and their activities are deterring shop customers, business people and other users from the CBD and local shopping precincts. Even driving people away to shop in other areas like Porirua or Lower Hutt. Lower business activity will also have a long run impact on the rates take. One solution is to take the contract back in house, another is to soften the rules and/or enforcement.
But some commentators call people that get tickets “stupid” and that infringements are a “stupidity” tax. While this may apply to some, there are many cases where time restrictions do not allow enough time for people to go about their business (30 minute limits), or people are only a short period over the time restriction. I personally would not want to be the one calling the 60 Yellow Fever fans who got ticketed in Thorndon ‘stupid’ when a Phoenix match ran over time. It must be also noted that Wellington has higher rates of infringement revenue collection than Auckland. So something is up.
In the UK parking wardens were receiving cars, holidays and widescreen TVs as incentives, as well as suffering from abuse and threats of violence. This out of control situation led to a major UK parliamentary inquiry in 2007 (Parking Policy and Enforcement) with a raft of recommendations for taking the heat out of the issue. Perhaps it is time that a review is conducted in Wellington before that stage is reached.