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Noise test good - now tackle emissions

18 July 2006

Noise test good - now tackle emissions

The Government is failing to test the emissions created by our dirty, ageing fleet of cars, and thus ignoring the major economic, health and environmental benefits that New Zealand stands to gain from a proper testing regime, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says

Ms Fitzsimons was speaking on the eve of Government plans to test noisy exhausts on New Zealand cars. Those tests are being conducted via roadside checks, and during warrant of fitness checks and entry to New Zealand registration.

"We congratulate the Government in taking action on noise pollution. Now it must act on vehicle emissions - which pose a silent threat that kills up to 400 New Zealanders every year, and causes hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to our health system.

"New Zealand has become a dumping ground for high emission used car imports. Overseas, Europe and Japan both carry out emission testing that works, and they have far cleaner vehicles on their roads than we do, as a result.

" Rather than waiting for technical testing equipment that is 100 percent accurate, we should accept that near enough is good enough in this area to generate significant gains, and should require motorists to ensure that their vehicles are not generating undue levels of emissions, and thus endangering lives.

"Testing for vehicle emissions would save lives, improve health outcomes, foster fuel efficiency and reduce the nation's bill for imported oil, that is currently the main driver of inflation. It is time the Government stopped fiddling around with side issues, and tackled the real problems posed by New Zealand's dirty, rapidly ageing fleet of cars."

ENDS

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