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Diesel vehicles and used imports fingered

Media Release

"Diesel vehicles and used imports fingered in 0800 SMOKEY campaign "

07 September 2000

Diesel powered vehicles and used imports make up the majority of vehicles 'dobbed in' during the first two weeks of the Auckland Regional Council's Clean Air Campaign.

More than 17,000 people have so far called the 0800 SMOKEY hotline since the campaign, targeting vehicles with smoky exhausts, was launched on August 14.

Preliminary analysis of the first fortnight of the campaign, during which over 10,000 calls were received, is already revealing some interesting trends.

ARC Air Quality manager Kevin Mahon says it appears that 60 per cent of vehicles dobbed in are diesel powered while 70 per cent are apparently used imports.

"The figure for diesel vehicles is very high considering such vehicles make up only 14 per cent of the region's total fleet," Mr Mahon says.

Many smoky vehicles have prompted multiple calls to the hotline with the worst offender 'dobbed in' 35 times during the first two weeks of the campaign.

In that same period the 50 worst offenders were 'dobbed in' between 10 and 35 times each.

ARC Environmental Management Committee chairperson Patricia Thorp says it is encouraging to receive feedback from the Motor Trade Association that a number of the "offenders" are taking heed of their friendly letters from the council.

"We hear some are already visiting MTA outlets to take advantage of the free emissions tests and have their vehicles tuned or repaired, which is good news for the environment," she says.

"It is also encouraging to hear of companies such as WestpacTrust who have entered into the spirit of the Clean Air Campaign by offering their staff incentives to carpool and have their vehicles tuned."

The five-week campaign was launched in response to Auckland's an air pollution problem which sees some areas at times exceed World Health Organisation carbon monoxide standards.

The campaign is being spearheaded by the ARC in partnership with Colenso BBDO, the Motor Trade Association, the Ministry for the Environment, Land Transport Safety Authority, Transit New Zealand, Auckland City Council, North Shore City Council, Stagecoach and Telecom.

- END -

For further information please call:

Kevin Mahon ARC, Air Quality Manager Phone 366 2000 extn 8447 Mobile 021 867 369

Or

Cr Patricia Thorp Chairperson, ARC Environmental Management Committee 366-2000 extn 7047 Mobile 025 623 9782

Or

Jami Williams Clean Air Campaign Co-ordinator Phone 366-2000 extn 8183. Mobile 021 254 4246


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