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Gov. admits emission testing won’t work. What now?

Media Release
For Immediate Release
28 April 2005

Govt. admits emission testing won’t work. What now?

In a media release dated 27 April 2005, Associate Minister of Transport Judith Tizard has admitted that the much-hyped in-field testing of vehicles for emission levels, planned to be implemented from 2006, is so fraught with accuracy problems that it is not going to proceed.

“This is a huge cop-out, and an admission that our vehicle fleet is so decrepit that a meaningful measurement of emission levels would be too difficult to administer,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association. “Frankly, we’re very disappointed but not surprised. There has never been any real incentive to reduce the age of the fleet, to maintain old vehicles in good condition or particularly to ensure that worn out catalytic converters are replaced.”

“The Government is fast running out of options to satisfy the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol that they so hastily signed up to,” said Mr. Kerr. “Although they make a lot of noise about ethanol being one of the answers, the simple fact is that the fuel companies cannot endorse it because well over half the vehicle fleet (used imports) cannot be guaranteed to use an ethanol mix without incurring problems. Obviously the fuel suppliers don’t need or want that responsibility.”

The Motor Industry Association believes that the only way the Government can now have a serious effect on the emission levels of the NZ vehicle fleet is to implement an age ban on used imported vehicles. “The fleet continues to get older, driven by the increasingly elderly 4WDs that continue to escape the loophole of the fontal impact rules,” said Mr. Kerr. “This is being exacerbated by the recent lack of legislative changes in Japan – the vehicle manufacturers are now moving well ahead of Government requirements in both safety and emissions, and New Zealand is the loser due to our ‘Wild West” vehicle importing rules.”

“We urgently need some Government action that will at least establish a minimum level of vehicle anti-pollution technology that can be imported into this country. We see a rolling seven-year age ban for used imports as the initial step,” said Mr. Kerr.


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