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Chaotic Taxi Industry Needs More Regulation

Media Release

20 September 2004

Chaotic Taxi Industry Needs More Regulation

Rt Hon Winston Peters is supporting calls from the New Zealand Taxi Federation for more controls on the taxi industry.

“Deregulation of the taxi driving industry has been a disaster, and the subsequent influx of taxi drivers is growing to an unmanageable level.

“The taxi industry is now in chaos,” said Mr Peters.

“One of the main reasons for the surge in numbers is the funding of immigrant taxi drivers into the industry by Work and Income. There are no controls on these numbers and cities like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are getting crowded with taxis.”

Mr Peters said that the reluctance to make cuts to the number of taxi drivers on city streets has meant that standards are falling, and that road safety, passenger safety and personal security has and is being jeopardised.

“Last year the Minister of Transport promised that the land Transport Amendment Bill would incorporate a number of changes to the regulation of the taxi industry, which included introducing an offence for an approved taxi organisation’s failure to comply with legislative requirements; and simplifying the operating rules for small passenger services.

“Legislation and enforcement hasn’t gone far enough.

“Illegal and unsafe practices, including tax evasion, overcrowding on inner city taxi ranks and unsafe driving is becoming rampant as the number of taxi drivers increase.

“The industry is in desperate need of better enforcement provisions to ensure that numbers and placements in taxi ranks are restricted and that agreed operating standards are met,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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