4 Aug 2017

Window washers face squeeze after law change

9:40 am on 4 August 2017

Some Auckland car window washers say they will lose their livelihoods if they are banned from the streets under a new law change.

A window washer at an Auckland intersection.

Window washers told RNZ they were just trying to make a living and the law change would wreck that for them. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

Parliament yesterday voted to give police the power to move window washers away from intersections and give them instant $150 fines.

Window washers at the intersection of Te Irirangi Drive and Great South Road said the changes were not fair.

"We're just out here trying to make a living, just like everybody else," one said.

"Someone else is judging other people's predicaments," another said.

One man, who did not want to be named, said he worked six-hour days to make about $50.

"I'm only window washing to support my family ... help out with my baby," he said.

"I've got a kid to provide for and this is the only way I can do it."

He never harassed people who did not want their windows washed, he said.

Some shoppers next to the intersection had differing views. Some were concerned about the safety of window washing on busy roads and others did not want to be asked for money.

However, most people spoken to by RNZ did not think the changes would deter window washers from plying their trade.

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, from National, pushed for the amendments to the Land Transport Amendment Bill, which passed its third reading yesterday.

He said he believed giving police the power to move them on from intersections, and handing out instant fines, was best for the area.

"I've had a lot of members of the public ... come to me and express to me concerns about window washers operating quite intensively at intersections around Auckland," he said.

Mr Ross said the only way to stop window washers without the ban was for Auckland Council to prosecute them.

This was costly for ratepayers, tied up court time and took several months to process, he said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs