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Frontal Impact Rule Under Scrutiny

13 March 2002

A select committee inquiry will enable MPs to scrutinise issues surrounding a new rule restricting the types of cars able to be imported into New Zealand, National's Transport Spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

She was commenting on the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee's inquiry into the Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001 announced today.

"In December Minister of Transport Mark Gosche ignored the advice of officials and amended the frontal impact standard rule effectively restricting the importation of cars manufactured before 1996.

"The Minister was told the rule would push up the price of used cars in New Zealand and exclude a huge number of New Zealanders from owning affordable cars.

"He was warned it could have a negative safety effect if people held on to older cars for longer.

"The Government says it wants to reduce compliance costs. This rule will increase them.

"The rule is due to come into effect on 1 April, yet implementation issues have not been worked through. The ham-fisted way the rule has been handled has resulted in an influx of imported used cars in the last two months, countering the very objective of the Minister in promoting the rule.

"The inquiry will enable MPs to probe the issues and ask the questions the Minister did not, " Belinda Vernon said.

Ends

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