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Christchurch City Council Media Release Monday 8 June 1998

New Roading Proposals Must Be Openly Debated — O’Rourke

Christchurch City Councillor Denis O’Rourke has welcomed news the government will revise its roading reform model in the next few weeks — but says any new proposals must be subject to full public consultation.

Commenting on reports that the government will announce new principles for roading later this month, chair of the Christchurch City Council’s City Services committee Councillor O’Rourke said that if the government did not consult widely on its new proposals, they would make no more progress than the previous, now discredited, reform recommendations.

"The government has moved a considerable distance from the original reform proposals recommended by the Roading Advisory Group. It is now essential that any revised model for the ownership, funding and management of roads should be vigorously debated by the whole community, rather than being introduced to the statute books without adequate consultation.

"This time around all road users and the wider community must have the opportunity to take part in the policy-making process. For example, local government, which manages almost 90 per cent of the country’s roads, must be treated as an equal partner in this process — not marginalised as just another interest group.

"The government must learn the lessons of the now discredited Roading Advisory Group, which failed because it was selected from a limited set of interests to determine a specific policy framework consistent with a particular narrow ideology.

"The government should not be surprised that the Roading Advisory Group’s recommendations were unacceptable to the vast majority of New Zealanders. It must now take care with its next set of reform proposals to ensure that it undertakes open and exhaustive public consultation, listens to more than just a limited set of vested interests, and adequately informs the whole community of the consequences of its proposals," said Councillor O’Rourke.

In light of last weeks discussion of roading reform, Sustainable Cities Trust, in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council, have called another meeting of the Christchurch Community Submission Group. This is to be held on Thursday 18 June at 7.30pm. "Anyone who would like to know more about the current status and direction of roading reform and/or who would like to share their view is welcome to attend. It is crucial to us at the Council that we remain in touch with what the community wants to see happen so we can continue to advocate that", said Councillor O’Rourke.

(Residents who would like to attend the meeting next Thursday should RSVP to Carol Soundy, Christchurch City Council, Phone 371-1949.)


For further information:

Councillor Denis O’Rourke

Phone 021-632-670

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