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AN AUCKLAND CONFERENCE. MAINTENANCE BY GOVERNMENT URGED. AUCKLAND, February 18. A conference of the many local bodies concerned in the maintenance of the Great South Road between Auckland and the Waikato' was held this afternoon, the Mayor, Mr Q. J. Parr, presiding. The conference was convened by the Mayor, owing to the bad j state of repair into which Auckland's main artery of traffic to the south has fallen, and to devise some satisfactory method of putting it right, an under- ' taking beyond the limited means of the j local bodies at present responsible for its upkeep. The score of the conference was extended to include the Great North Road.

Mr Parr said certainly it was quite impossible for the local -bodies along the line of route to maintain the road as the districts were in many cases sparsely populated, and the total road iii(iome was small. They had done the very best thing they could under adverse circumstances. "Personally," said. Mr Parr, "I am strongly in favour of the Government taking over the whole' control of- these roads, as is done in other countries, but "once we claim that the people of the South Island and in other provinces would demand the same thing. It would be a big contract for the. Government to take over all the main roads of New 1 Zealand. As a matter of fact, districts outside the province of Auckland which already have excellent roads would probably object to be taxed for the upkeep of main arteries in other provinces, and would prefer to retain the present system. There would consequently almost certainly be a good deal of outside objection to any proposal that the Government shbuld assume general control of the main thoroughfares of New Zealand, and' probably such a proposal would be blocked in the House pf Representatives.. Still, it is absolutely necessary in the interests of both city and country that some scheme should be evolved, and I think the solution of the difficulty would be found in the Government finding half the money and creating a Board _ or Main Road Commission for administrative purposes." After considerable discussion it was unanimously resolved, "That this conference affirm the principle that the Government should take over the control and upkeep of all main arterial roads." The Mayor*of Hamilton, the mover, said that with the advent of the motor-car local bodies were no longer able to face the task of keeping the main roads in order. A strong committee was formed to place the views of the conference before the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Works.

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Bibliographic details

MAIN ROADS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8798, 19 February 1914

Word Count

MAIN ROADS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8798, 19 February 1914