A spokesperson for a national cycling advocacy group has slammed the National Party's proposed new law to fine cyclists who don't use dedicated bike paths.
Patrick Morgan from Cycling Action Network called the idea "dumb, because it won't work".
National's Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop said cyclists' use of roads and motorways when dedicated cycle paths are available is frustrating for motorists.
"There are now hundreds of kilometres of protected cycle paths across New Zealand. Many of these are high-quality, safe and designed to be used by cyclists," he said in a statement on Sunday.
But Morgan claims many bike paths are "really low quality".
"They're just paint on a footpath. Forcing police to fine cyclists if they don't use them is a 'face palm' thing," he said.
"We want them [police] protecting us from drunks and drunk drivers, not hassling children on bicycles."
He said the policy is designed to foster hostility towards cyclists and to be divisive, and he's already seeing this online.
"I'm really scared that on our streets, some people take this as a licence to be aggressive to people on bikes.
"Shame on National for doing that."
Morgan compared the proposed new law to not using carpool lanes or thanking a bus driver.
"Say if you don't use the carpool lane and you've got three people in your car, do you think National wants to fine you for that? If you get on the bus and don't say 'thank you, driver', are we going to be fining people for that?"
He said he wants to "focus on what works" and build more cycleways.