Mathew Dearnaley at NZ Herald reports:
Politicians are upset that an Auckland Transport bylaw may ban mobile election hoardings and put restrictions on others.
The council transport organisation, which is trying to standardise bylaws in time for this year’s local elections, says it does not believe vehicles used solely for political advertising should be allowed on city roads or in carparks.
But Labour’s transport spokesman, Phil Twyford, suggested yesterday that the organisation should concentrate on making its trains run on time. And Act’s John Boscawen said his party would oppose any such restriction “on people’s freedom of speech and to express, and to generate interest in the political process”.
Auckland Transport says in a position paper seeking public submissions by February 28 that its bylaws should support an objective of making roads effective for carrying people and goods.
It proposes that election signs be allowed on vehicles used for ordinary travel but not for the sole purpose of advertising, such as when towing trailer-mounted hoardings.
This is pathetic and ridiculous Auckland has almost 1.4 million people living in it, and around 1.1 million vehicles. And Auckland Transport are trying to restrict cars used for political advertising, which would probably reduce the number of cars at any one time by oh around six or so.
As Phil Twyford says, they should focus on making the trains run on time, and not becoming political speech commissars.