Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown’s war on road cones: Abandoned cones can now be reported to AT

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In a Twitter poll by Wayne Brown asking whether people were sick of road cones, three-quarters of respondents by the time this article was written chose the answer: “No, I love them”. Less than a quarter said they were sick of them. Photo / Dean Purcell

Aucklanders can now report abandoned road cones – but while Mayor Wayne Brown has promoted the option, those whose views he canvassed seemed less enthusiastic.

Brown has slammed cones and road safety projects as annoying and a cause of road rage. A spokeswoman for Auckland Transport (AT) told the Herald the reporting feature predates Brown’s mayoralty.

Taking to social media yesterday, Brown polled users on Twitter on their feelings about road cones.

Brown asked: “Are you sick of seeing these useless cones scattered all over Auckland?”


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At the time of writing, three-quarters of respondents chose the answer: “No, I love them”.

Less than a quarter said they were sick of them. About 1 per cent said they were “reporting now”.

The Herald approached the mayor for comment.

In March, Brown called for AT to reduce its “unjustifiable” $145 million spend on traffic management, including the use of road cones.


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He spoke to AT and utility and energy companies Chorus, Vector and Watercare about a four-step approach to reducing the frequency of lane closures and cones for road works, which he described as “excessive and unnecessary”.

A six-month trial will begin for one of AT’s road maintenance contractors where the use of road cones and traffic management plans will be site-specific, rather than the traditional, “highly” prescriptive plans now.

“We need to make sure we are striking the right balance between keeping members of the public and workers safe near construction sites, and not unduly inconveniencing road users,” the spokeswoman for AT said.

“In essence, we will be working closely with that contractor to enable their teams on the ground to make pragmatic decisions about the level of traffic management needed (including cones) to keep their crews and members of the public safe while not unduly inconveniencing road users.”

The spokeswoman said the ability to report abandoned cones was set up “prior to the mayor, but in recent times it’s been enhanced”.

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.

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