There doesn't seem to be much point in the Whangarei District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency continuing discussions around what to do about window washers.

Because a bill amending the Land Transport Act will make it an offence for window washers to approach vehicles in a manner that may be unsafe or cause a nuisance.

The bill, which has passed its first reading, looks likely to supersede anything that the WDC and NZTA can come up with.

The two parties have considered the NZTA delegating power to the WDC to enforce an NZTA bylaw (state highway intersections are the NZTA's jurisdiction) but even if this happened, the cost of prosecution makes the action counter productive.


The bill - supported by MPs including Whangarei's Shane Reti - will allow instant fines of $150 to be issued to window washers. They can be fined up to $1000 if they are caught again.

Dr Reti has hypothesised about harnessing the work aptitude of the window washers, and what could happen if, say, they could be bussed up to Kerikeri to pick fruit and earn a good day's wages.

One thing that could happen is that everyone on the bus gets robbed, because there are gang connections to the window washers and criminals amongst these fine young men.

Apparently if you know the right people you can drive off from an intersection in possession of more than a clean windscreen.

There are also suggestions that gangs control the intersections and charge the window washers "rent".

There could well be prospective fruit pickers amongst the washers, but along with the fruit pickers will be wallet nickers.

Working out which washers to get on board Dr Reti's bus, or any legal enterprise for that matter, could be another long winded challenge.

You have to admire his optimism though, over a subject that many Whangarei-ites are just plain sick of.