Protesters 'privatise' road to National Party conference

By Heather McCracken

Prime Minister John Key is speaking at the conference today. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister John Key is speaking at the conference today. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Protesters at the National Party's Mainland Region conference say their mock toll booth was so well-received it may be used again.

Keep Our Assets Christchurch members put up a toll booth on the Wairau River bridge, on the road to Hanmer Springs where the conference was being held, saying the bridge had been "privatised".

The move aimed to highlight opposition to the government's privatisation of state assets such as Mighty River Power. About 20 members also protested outside the conference venue in Hanmer Springs.

Member Steve Howard said the toll booth was well received, with some motorists even offering to pay a toll.

"Of course we weren't in a position to receive money off people, that's not what we're about, so we said 'no thank you'," he said.

"Most people thought it was very funny. Nine out of ten people smiled and waved and thought it was an amusing way to present the argument."

Mr Howard said the protest followed a march in Christchurch yesterday.

The toll booth was dismantled about 12.30pm today, but may be used again elsewhere.

"We got such a good positive reaction from the public we will consider what other uses we can put it to."

- APNZ

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