Bridge sentries cost $80,000

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

On watch on the bridge. Photo / Jason Dorday
On watch on the bridge. Photo / Jason Dorday

Sentries guarding the Auckland Harbour Bridge on match days of the Rugby World Cup have cost taxpayers more than $80,000.

They are there to foil any attempts at pranks, protests or even terrorism.

Transport Authority spokesman Tommy Parker described the bridge as an iconic structure and said the security was a precautionary measure to ensure no one tried to gain access.

Six security guards have complemented the closed-circuit television on the motorway network and have cost $81,000 for more than 300 hours on duty.

Parker said one concern was that protesters might try to replace the New Zealand flag with that of another country or with one of this country's unofficial flags.

"It might be someone who wants a bit of jollity, which might be inappropriate," Parker said. More serious protests and terrorism were also a worry. "Either way it's not desirable." With one game to go, the guards had yet to respond to any incident.

- Herald on Sunday

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