January 29, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] New Zealand’s Wellington City Council is starting a six-month trial of TXT-a-Park, a solar-powered pay-and-display parking machine system. The machines are solid aluminum, with vandal-resistant construction, and run on solar/battery power. They have been designed to incorporate payment options, including credit cards, notes and other card systems. They can also be configured to pay back change. The 20 trial machines allow users the choice of paying by mobile phone or cash, with mobile transactions being debited to the user’s mobile phone account. Cash Handling Systems, New Zealand’s largest supplier of parking machines, has integrated a GPRS dial-up modem into the new generation machine. Additional functionality allows remote machine monitoring and fault reporting in real time. Advantages for the council include the ability to configure the machine remotely, program different messages and parking fees or waive fees altogether for special events.