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Government getting tougher on imported vehicles

Hon Judith Tizard
Associate Minister of Transport

Media release
21 December 2006

Government getting tougher on imported vehicles

Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard today announced measures to restrict imports of vehicles with older technology to help reduce vehicle emissions which contribute to air pollution and climate change.

"This Labour-led government is sending a clear message that we are serious about reducing harmful emissions and transport greenhouse gas emissions," says Judith Tizard.

"If we want to reduce emissions then we need to bring in vehicles built to higher standards."

"We are proposing to introduce a vehicle emissions technology standard that vehicles will need to meet before they can be imported. We'll then test them at the border to make sure that they meet the standard."

The Transport Ministry has been given the go ahead by Cabinet to draft a Rule outlining options for entry restrictions on vehicle imports, which will be released for industry and public consultation around March next year.

The Minister says the draft Rule would set out a series of steadily increasing standards that used vehicles would have to meet and which may be ready to be implemented in 2008.

The Rule will also update emission standards for new vehicles to ensure they meet current international standards and take advantage of the higher standard fuel standards introduced to New Zealand in January this year and those planned for 2009.

The minimum exhaust emission standard proposed for petrol cars is the Japanese standard, introduced in Japan from 2000, and proposed to be implemented here from 2008. For diesel vehicles, it is proposed to implement the Japanese standard which was introduced there from 2002, and could be implemented here from 2009.

"The Energy Outlook to 2030 shows that if we do not change our policy settings, transport greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 35% over the next 25 years. We cannot - and will not - let that happen," says Judith Tizard.

The measure is one of several government initiatives to improve vehicle emissions, including tougher emission standards for new vehicles; cleaner diesel fuel; and the introduction of the visible smoke check as part of the warrant of fitness.

"In addition higher quality vehicles will also help to improve the fuel economy of the country's fleet and improve vehicle safety," the Minister says.

There will however be exemptions for historic cars.

Q&As are attached

ENDS

See... Q&As: Import Restrictions

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