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Voters Need Answers On Roading Reform - 28 Mayors

Leaders of 28 local councils throughout the country are behind an advertising campaign encouraging voters to question election candidates for their policies on roading reform.

Starting this week, the advertising urges voters to find out "which side of the road your MP or election candidate is on." The government's roading policy would remove the direct control communities have of their own roads, placing them instead into the hands of commercially driven companies, says Christchurch mayor Garry Moore, whose Council is among the 28.

"The 28 councils involved in this group make no apologies for spending ratepayers' money on advertising when the government's policy on roading proposes a radical, ideologically driven experiment on our $16 billion national network of roads.

"Our roads are one of the most important community assets we have. As the election draws nearer, the silence of many politicians on the roading issue is deafening - particularly so from those in government.

"The Minister of Transport recently said that this is the most important reform New Zealand has faced in 50 years. That's why voters need to be able to make an informed choice about where election candidates stand.

"Voters need to know whether or not their candidates believe our roads should be run by profit-oriented commercial companies - companies that will be outside the direct control of the communities they have been set up to serve.

"At the moment, only one person in three is even aware that roading reform is an issue. That is not democracy. These plans could change the face of New Zealand society forever.

"We don't want our communities waking up one morning to a roading system they knew nothing about - and simply do not want. This is what will happen if voters and election candidates do not exchange policies and opinions on this issue over the next six weeks," said Mr Moore.


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