MP: Ban window washers

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross wants window washers banned.

The junior whip has drafted a Bill to stop window washing and give police the power to fine them.

He has also launched a petition asking for public support for the law change.

“We need the Minister of Transport to agree to fast track this amendment to the Land Transport Act (the same law used for other offences involving roads or vehicles), otherwise it could take months or years for it to be randomly selected for debate in Parliament,” Mr Ross said.

“Window washers at intersections are a common sight in Auckland – but they can be both dangerous and intimidating.

“I regularly get complaints that we need to do something about the problem. The council and police have also been calling for Parliament to help them out with a better law needing to be put in place.”

Mr Ross said that with the problem of window washers growing and even reports of attacks on school children recently in Auckland, he decided to launch a petition calling on the Minister of Transport to fast track a law change he has drafted.

“Not every window washer is dangerous or intimidating. Some are hard on their luck and doing what they can,” he said.

“But police and the council have countless reports of window washers obstructing traffic, forcing their services on people who do not want them, or even attacking members of the public.

“I was particularly alarmed to hear of children being attacked while walking to school a few months ago.”

Auckland Council has a bylaw that makes window washing illegal, but the bylaw can only be enforced by the council taking a prosecution.

“This is costly for ratepayers, ties up court time, and takes several months to process,” Mr Ross said.

“A better solution is for the law to be changed to support the work police and council have been doing by allowing instant fines of $150 to be issued.

“We need to give police and the community more support. Changing the law to give police greater powers in this area will help them keep the public, particularly women and children, safer at problem intersections.”

The petition is at www.StopWindowWashers.co.nz