Transport Agency hits back


The saga of Queenstown’s dodgy speed limit trials continues, with the NZ Transport Agency throwing responsibility for the balls-up back on to the council.

Cops are trawling through years of speeding tickets after realising several temporary limits were unenforceable.

Last week, Arrowtown ward councillor Scott Stevens said NZTA gave the go-ahead at a regional level, before pulling the plug nationally. He called the issue “disappointing”.

But NZTA’s hit back.

Safety boss Harry Wilson says NZTA told the council they had three options for introducing temporary speed limits – road works, unsafe road surfaces or a special event happening.

“Following this, the [council] staff member provided written confirmation that the Arrowtown speed limit was be implemented due to suspected unsafe road surface conditions,” Wilson says.

NZTA accepted that explanation, he says.

Road Controlling Authorities, aka local councils, are expected to manage temporary speed restrictions in their districts according to legislation.

They don’t have to tell NZTA when they’re put in place.

Regardless of who’s to blame, police have got a big task ahead of them.

Any fines found to be invalid will be cancelled and fees refunded. If demerit points have been given, they will be removed from the driver licence record by NZTA.

Six roads around the district, including Arthurs Point Road, plus Arrowtown, will revert back to their original speeds.

For Arrowtown, that means going from 40km to 50km, while Arthurs Point returns to 70km from 50km.