|Monday 23 March 1998|
Overwhelming Opposition to Government Road Reform
New Zealanders are overwhelmingly opposed to recommendations made to the Government by its Roading Advisory Group, according to an ACNeilsen-MRL survey carried out for the Christchurch City Council this month.
The recommendations, currently under consideration by Government, propose transferring the ownership and management of roads from local authorities to a number of companies set up to manage roading on a commercial basis.
Almost half those surveyed knew of the recommendations, yet of that number only five per cent supported the proposals - an emphatic rejection of any commercialisation of New Zealands roading system according to the Chair of the Christchurch City Councils City Services Committee, Councillor Denis ORourke.
Strongest opposition to the proposed commercialisation was from Aucklanders (75 per cent), and from South Islanders (73 per cent).
The most common reasons given for opposing the Roading Advisory Groups recommendations were that they would result in a decline in the standard of roads and streets, rural areas would suffer, and the costs to individuals and communities would increase.
Three quarters of those surveyed opposed funding the road network through higher fuel taxes - the strongest preference being for the status quo, a system of petrol taxes and rates.
While over half those surveyed felt that roads were currently well-managed, three quarters felt that local authorities were the most appropriate owners and managers of the roading network, on behalf of local communities.
Dissatisfaction with the Governments handling of the proposed road reform was emphatic - 80 per cent of the respondents felt the Government had not fully explained the implications of the proposed changes to the roading system, and 68 per cent felt that there had not been enough community input.
The nationwide telephone survey of 1000 people was carried out between 27 February and 2 March, and has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.
For more information contact:
|Councillor Denis ORourke
Christchurch City Council
Tel: 021 632 670
Christchurch City Council
Tel: 03 941 8671
ACNeilsen-MRL for Christchurch City Council
Survey of 1,000 New Zealanders questioned on issues relating to the Governments proposed roading reform, carried out 27 February and 2 March
Findings from all respondents included:
46 per cent said they were aware of the Governments Roading Advisory Group report.
75 per cent believe local authorities, on behalf of the community, are the most appropriate owners and managers of the roading network.
88 per cent believe companies set up to manage the roading network should represent and be fully responsive to local road users.
15 per cent believe their local community would be positively affected by the proposed changes.
53 per cent believe roads are currently managed very or quite well.
70 per cent are either unfavourable (24 per cent) or strongly unfavourable (46 per cent) towards the recommendation to transfer the ownership of roads from the community and local authorities to a series of companies established to manage roading on a profit making basis. Those who were already aware of the proposed changes were far more unfavourable than those who did not know of them (82 per cent compared with 59 per cent).
72 per cent do not support the recommendation that the roading network should no longer be partly funded by rates but a system of higher fuel taxes.
5 per cent believe the level of support for the proposed reforms within their local community was either good or very good.
68 per cent either mildly disagreed (25 per cent) or strongly disagreed (43 per cent) that they and the community have had enough input into the proposed roading reforms.
82 per cent felt that the government had not fully explained the implications of the proposed changes to the roading system.