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Greens clarify position on SUV ban rumour

24 January 2005

Greens clarify position on SUV ban rumour

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has clarified that contrary to a report at the weekend, the Party has no plans to "ban" SUVs.

At the Picnic for the Planet on Sunday Ms Fitzsimons outlined the Party's concerns for New Zealand and the planet and was reported as saying the party would "ban SUVs". At no stage has she ever said that.

"What I said was: 'On the positive side we have seen a decline in the sale of large 6 cylinder cars and an increase in small efficient ones. Public transport in Auckland and Wellington is generally well supported but cannot meet demand. But we are still importing vehicles that use 15 litres to travel 100 km when we could be importing models that use only a third of that. One of my top objectives this year to is to get controls on the efficiency of vehicles entering the country.' "

The issue is not whether a vehicle is an SUV but how much fuel it uses to do its job.

"Some people need an SUV for off-road use or towing very heavy loads. But they are not a sensible option for taking the kids to school," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"It is essential to improve the efficiency of NZ's vehicle fleet as quickly as possible to protect ourselves against ever rising fuel prices and to reduce unnecessary climate change emissions. The only way to do that is to target vehicles entering the country.

The Greens have proposed a 'feebate" scheme where vehicle registration costs are related to fuel efficiency. A more efficient car would cost less to register and a less efficient one would cost more.

"That rewards people for making environmentally sensible vehicle purchase decisions. Gas-guzzling cars would not be banned, but those who want them would be expected to pay more for the privilege," Ms Fitzsimons says.

ENDS

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