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‘Like shooting fish in a barrel’

Thursday 9 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Court, Crime, Local, National


‘Like shooting fish in a barrel’
3.2 tonnes of cocaine was seized in Operation Hydros. Photo: NZ Police / Supplied/23020702

A Ngatangiia resident has renewed a call to shorten the reduced speed zone through Muri as Police set up a checkpoint in the area for the second time in as many weeks.

Police were stationed in Muri for a traffic enforcement check on Wednesday morning, just eight days after dishing out fines to motorists who drove through a checkpoint set up in the same area.

A total of 11 traffic infringements were recorded on January 31, but statistics were not available for Wednesday before Cook Islands News went to print.

Yesterday, Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said the 30 kilometre per hour zone through Muri was a “high target area for speed radar”.

“It is the most abused stretch of road on the islands in terms of the legal limit.”

Ngatangiia resident Rod Henderson felt setting up a checkpoint at the edge of the Muri township, but in the middle of the reduced speed zone, was “like shooting fish in a barrel”.

“It’s all out of kilter,” Henderson said.

Henderson raised concerns in October last year when he said it is hard to drive 30 kilometres an hour for two kilometres.

“It is little wonder that so many motorists, including local residents, tourists and business operators are being booked for speeding, I would suggest most would be doing around 40 to 45 kilometres per hour at the time,” he said at the time.

“The scope of this speed zone is far too great; completely unnecessary and what’s more unfair to the people living on this side of the island who are most liable to offend.”

He reiterated his concerns yesterday, saying: “They (motorists) are only doing the average speed – then they have to drop to nearly half that for a 2.2km stretch, and generally speaking, during the day, there’s no need for it.”

The reduced speed zone in Muri stretches between the Avana and Parengaru streams.

Henderson believed it should be shrunk to 500 metres, from the Muri Meeting House to the LBV and DeliLicious cafes, where there was a higher concentration of activity.

“The Police are pointing their (speed radar) guns from where I think the zone should start.

“They’re shooting back down the road towards Matavera, but there’s nothing really down there. It’s nearly rural there.”

Henderson said a smaller zone would be more logical, so motorists would be more likely to adhere to the speed limit.

Henderson said he did not fault the young police officers enforcing the speed limit in Muri, nor did he believe it was done for the purpose of revenue gathering.

“Those guys are to be commended, because it’s hard policing in their own backyard. They could be giving out tickets to their friends.”

  • Joanne Holden


Tony Heays on 09/02/2023

Well said Rod