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Court Decision Raises Fresh Questions

Court Decision Raises Fresh Questions Over Driver's Licence Review

14 July 2000


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the District Court's decision in the case of former Alliance press secretary, Moana Sinclair, raises fresh questions about the Government's review of the driver's licence system.

Mr Dunne has previously criticised the Government's review as too narrow and ill-timed, and says the Sinclair decision proves him right on both counts.

"It shows that the Government rushed into a narrowly focussed review before relevant Court rulings like the Sinclair verdict were available."

"This ruling - that even though she did not have a photographic licence Ms Sinclair was not an unlicensed driver - goes to the heart of much of the concern about the new system."

"Many people who have philosophical objections to carrying a digitised photographic licence have not upgraded their old lifetime licences and have been wondering about their legal position as a consequence."

"This ruling implies that although they may not have a new licence, they cannot be regarded as unlicensed drivers."

"Where does this leave other drivers - such as older people who have not passed their new licence test?"

"Are they now to be seen in the same light as Ms Sinclair?" Mr Dunne asks.

Mr Dunne says this is a serious issue the Government's review needs to address.

"Otherwise, this review will become a meaningless mockery of how to make the system work better, while the Courts are in effect saying that it does not matter, because the old lifetime licence means someone is still a licensed driver, even if they do not have the new photographic licence."

"This is nothing short of farce," he says.


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