NBR reports that the supermarkets aren't happy with Auckland's proposed new parking regs [gated, sorry].
It seems that Auckland's proposed limiting supermarkets to one car park per 200 square meters of floor area. The supermarkets are right that this will put a substantial hindrance on their operations; I'm glad they're opposing it.
At the same time, the supermarkets are opposing the removal of minimum parking restrictions on smaller businesses, figuring that those businesses' customers will free-ride on supermarket-provided parking. They might, but supermarkets are also perfectly able to place restrictions on permitted parking within their facilities. The most obvious solution is to gate the exit and provide free exit on scan of a supermarket register receipt. You don't even really need staff on it - the airport here in Christchurch does it all automatically. It might not be cost effective to do it, but it's then pretty debatable whether the potential externality is big enough to justify compelling all small businesses to supply parking.
Further, much of the potential externality gets internalised where supermarkets serve as anchor tenants in malls or strip malls.
Why do Councils figure they have to regulate this stuff? Is Auckland going from mandatory parking minima to mandatory parking maxima? Can't we just let property owners decide how much parking they need and how to restrict access?