$150 fines 'won't stop' car window washers

Window washers who don't want fines will just run away - and police won't chase them, it has been claimed.

A Bill which gives police the power to issue $150 spot fines to window washers at intersections passed its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, 93-28.

But Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton is yet to be convinced it'll work.

"The police will welcome the tool, if it's going to be effective. That is yet to be seen. It might work for a couple," she told The AM Show on Thursday.

"We've also got the risk of window-washers just running off, and police are not going to chase window-washers through traffic - and nor should they."

With rumours that gangs are getting involved and some intersections host numerous washers, Ms Dalton says fixing the problem won't be as simple as fining them - many are homeless, or have no other legal way to make an income.

"It's a complex issue, just like homelessness. There's more than one reason why people are washing windows… Some of them just want to buy some food."

She wants to pilot a sticker scheme with phrases like "I won't pay, go away" so drivers don't feel pressured into handing over cash.

"The advice I'm receiving from the police is they think they can speak with the window-washers and get respect for the sticker."

Currently washers making a nuisance of themselves have to prosecuted through the courts - it can cost as much as $5000 and leaves the offender with a criminal record.

"Then what we're going to get is a conviction against somebody who's going to find it even more challenging to find a job," said Ms Dalton.

About 85 percent of all complaints made to Auckland Council about window washers concern three intersections - two of them on Great South Rd in south Auckland.

Last month, Fairfax reported 61 window washers have been prosecuted so far, with another 250 in the works.

National, Labour, ACT and UnitedFuture supported National MP Jami-Lee Ross' Bill.

The Greens, NZ First and the Māori Party opposed it.