Car parks and the New Zealand access standard (NZS 4121)


You can find detailed information about car parks in Section 5 of NZS 4121:2001 Design for access and mobility buildings and associated facilities. The Building Act 2004 deems NZS 4121 to be an acceptable solution. This means that if NZS 4121 is followed, then the performance criteria of Clause D1 for accessible parking have been met.

The Standard covers:

  • location
  • appropriate signs
  • number of parks
  • park dimensions
  • ground or floor surface
  • access to and from the park
  • position of ticket dispensers.

How many parks are needed?

NZS 4121 gives the following figures:

Total number of car parksNumber of accessible spaces
1-20 Not less than 1
21-50 Not less than 2
For every additional 50 parks Not less than 1

The number of parks specified in D1/AS1 is slightly less than in NZS 4121:2001. For 200 parks in total, D1/AS1 requires four accessible parks while NZS 4121 requires five.

The reason for the difference is that D1/AS1 followed the earlier version of NZS 4121 and it has not been revised since the 2001 version of the Standard was published. Until D1/AS1 is revised, its method of calculation can be used, but the Barrier Free Trust believes the NZS 4121:2001 method should be followed.

Where there are more than 400 car parks, such as a sports stadium or mall, the Barrier Free Trust suggests a simple calculation of two percent of the total number of car parks, for up to 1000 parks, is reasonable. If there are more than 1000 parks, a figure of 20 plus 1 percent of the number of parks over 1000 is appropriate.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: