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Work continues on reducing vehicle emissions

Work continues on reducing vehicle emissions

The next step towards combating our “invisible” road toll starts today with the release of a second draft of the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule by the Associate Minister of Transport, Judith Tizard.

The rule will ensure that all vehicles entering New Zealand are manufactured to an emissions standard.

This second draft has been sent to those who made submissions on the first draft in September 2001 for their further comment.

“Vehicle emissions are a major source of health problems, including asthma, heart disease and bronchities,” said Ms Tizard. “A report released earlier this year estimates that this “invisible” road toll is almost equal to the number of people who are killed our roads each year.

“This new rule is a key first step in reducing related illnesses and fatalities. While many imported vehicles already meet vehicle emissions standards, some do not. This rule will ensure that New Zealand doesn’t become a dumping ground for vehicles that are not built to European, American, Australian and Japanese environmental standards.”

The new rule will apply to new and used vehicles that enter New Zealand from 1 January 2004. Vehicles already in New Zealand will not be affected, nor will classic cars that are imported after that date.

“This is the first time that standards for vehicle emissions will be set in regulation. It will put a line in the sand by saying that nothing less than these construction standards will be acceptable in New Zealand. Our aim is to phase out vehicles that harm our health and our environment. This rule will ensure that all vehicles entering this country are at least built to a standard that can run efficiently and cleanly on New Zealand fuel. The requirements of the rule will be phased in to take account of the improving fuel quality in new Zealand over the next few years. It is also an interim measure while work continues on developing our Vehicle Emissions Policy.”

Key stakeholders have until 31 January 2003 to make their submissions and the rule is expected to become law mid next year.

A copy of the draft rule and supporting information is available at http:// http://www.transport.govt.nz

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