Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Drop The Spin, Minister

Drop The Spin, Minister

Friday 5 Dec 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today claimed that Transport Minister Paul Swain's latest proposal to almost halve the drink driving limit - from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - to further reduce the road toll, is little more than a public relations campaign.

"With only one driver with an blood alcohol count of between 50 and 100 milligrams having been killed last year, the Minister's assertion that the lower drinking limit will reduce road deaths from 403 to less than 300, is clearly political spin," Dr Newman said.

"I question whether it is a case of bad drivers or bad roads. If the Minister wants to get serious about the need to reduce road fatalities then he should be putting his effort into improving road design, using the petrol tax money collected from motorists for that purpose, instead of siphoning it off into the consolidated fund.

"It is clear from accident reports that many roads deaths occur because the roads themselves are dangerous and that better safety objectives will not be achieved by merely focusing on blood alcohol levels alone. It is therefore not just a simple case of bad driving that causes road accidents even though the Minister would have us believe the drivers alone are to blame.

"The reality is that while drivers must take responsibility for their driving habits, the Government should take responsibility for ensuring out roads are not death traps. That also means involving local authorities who are responsible for our local roads.

"The Minister must put pressure on local authorities as well as Transit New Zealand to make sure that when roads are built and maintained that they meet minimum safety standards. It is the cost cutting in road design - building roads without safety shoulders, with the wrong camber, without safety rails on dangerous corners and so on - that are costing many more lives than drink driving.

"I call on Mr Swain to take responsibility for the safety of our roads and to explain to the New Zealand public what he intends to do to ensure that new roads are designed and built with road safety in mind, and that existing roads are subjected to road safety audits to ensure that minimum risk standards exist," Dr Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels