Great news for Whanganui windscreen washer Stephen Manihera.

A proposed new law won't stop him from working the city's traffic lights, but it will make it harder for him to operate.

A spokeswoman for National MP Jami-Lee Ross, who has introduced the legislation, has confirmed the bill does not seek to outlaw windscreen washers, but proposes new powers for police to issue instant fines where safety is compromised, among other possible breaches.

This will make it more difficult for windscreen washers to operate but will not make what they do illegal.


But Mr Manihera, who has worked as a windscreen washer in the city for two years, may not be home and hosed yet.

Another new law is in the wings, this time at a local level, where the Whanganui District Council is considering a new by-law that will require windscreen washers to apply for a permit.

What the requirements and restrictions of that permit will be have yet to be disclosed.

The bylaw was rejected by a council committee but is expected to be endorsed when it returns for consideration once it defines which other outdoor traders will be covered by it.

Meantime a Chronicle on-line poll shows seventy per cent of respondents so far do not favour windscreen washers.

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In contrast social media comments seem to favour either Mr Manihera or windscreen washers in general, including district councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay who said that he had no issues with windscreen washers.

"These are people offering a service and trying to support themselves. Of course anti-social or intimidatory behaviour should be disallowed, but harassment is already unlawful. Let's not target a perfectly legitimate activity just because a few people find it unsettling."

Both the bylaw and the Bill are yet to become law.