Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Whoops! Electronic bollards smash ministers' limos

New security gates outside the Beehive have captured some unwitting victims.
New security gates outside the Beehive have captured some unwitting victims.

New security gates which are designed to stop attacks on Parliament have instead claimed another victim - Government ministers' limousines.

Two Crown limos have been struck by the new electronic bollards outside the Beehive, which caught out the drivers by rising while being driven over.

But Parliamentary Services say the bollards are working as they should, and that motorists just need to move a little faster.

A Department of Internal Affairs spokeswoman confirmed that two of the Crown's $200,000 BMWs have been damaged in the last week. The repairs would be covered by insurance, she said.

Parliamentary Services spokeswoman Kathy Milne said there had been "a couple of incidents" since the bollards were installed last week.

"But for the most part I wouldn't say there's a problem. Over 2000 vehicles successfully going through the bollards shows that it's successfully working."

The bollards retreat into the ground when activated by a sensor inside a vehicle.

Milne said timing was crucial, because there was only a small window to drive over them.

"You get a certain amount of time to go across, and it's not an unrealistic time to be able to do that. But we will have a look at that.

"It wouldn't be a particularly good safety barrier if they went back down on touching a vehicle. The whole point of them is to stop [cars]."

The bollards were out of action today. But they will be re-started again tomorrow, possibly after a few adjustments.

The additional safety measure was introduced after a security threat on Budget Day in which a man drove a ute onto Parliament's forecourt.

- NZ Herald

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