Thursday, July 18, 2024

Christchurch to waive protest fees

Christchurch City Council has agreed to waive payment of fees incurred for traffic management by the Freedom and Rights Coalition during the group’s protest activity in the city over summer.

Council staff and Mayor, Lianne Dalziel, met with coalition representative, Derek Tait, to discuss the outstanding invoices.

“We had a very constructive meeting and we have agreed we will waive payment of the invoices on the understanding that the Freedom and Rights Coalition will discuss in advance any plans they have for protest activity that could impact on traffic around the city,’’ says Council General Manager, Infrastructure, Jane Davis.

“We did not take the decision to invoice for the Freedom and Rights Coalition for the cost of traffic management lightly because we unreservedly uphold the right of citizens to protest peacefully.

“However, the Freedom and Rights Coalition did not engage with us at the time about their protest marches and how they could be managed safely, as other protest organisers do.”

Ms Davis said Mr Tait has now agreed to engage with Council regarding traffic management requirements.

“We have said that we will not pursue payment of the invoices,’’ she said.

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