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“We’ll be back,” says Waitakere City Council

27 July 2005

“We’ll be back,” says Waitakere City Council

Waitakere City Council has lost its bid to have Councils given the power to independently control traffic light offences and speed cameras.

The Council made the bid through a remit on traffic enforcement at the Local Government Conference in Christchurch.

“I’m not down-hearted though. We received a lot of support from the many Councils. It was a close vote and I think it is now a matter of time before this gets the support it needs and deserves. So we’ll be back,” says Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of Waitakere City Council’s City Development Committee, who presented the remit.

“We’ve come a long way .There was little support when we first proposed this initiative last year and the growth in support this year is very heartening,” she says.

The new service was to be funded by fines and would relieve already overworked local police,

The New Zealand Police Association estimates that 10,000 more police will be needed by 2010 to provide the level of service that the public demand.

“Our residents have been asking for action on speedsters and as the Police don’t always have the resources to respond, the Council decided it would see if it could take on the task. After all, it’s not long since the police did not do traffic enforcement and City Councils had their own traffic departments,” says Councillor Hulse.

“It was very common once and Auckland City had its traffic department right up until the police and traffic enforcement were merged by John Banks when he was Minister of Police. And they were considered very efficient.”

“We don’t necessarily want to return to that model, but Councils are already responsible for stationary vehicle offences like parking and on the North shore (of Auckland), Council staff enforce the bus lane and fine people who break the regulations.”

“So we are confident that the mood is changing and we’ll keep on trying.”

ENDS

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