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Used car dealers urged to focus on health of NZers

Used car dealers urged to focus on health of NZers

Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard says proposed measures to clean up New Zealand's vehicle fleet will save New Zealanders' lives by improving air quality.

The proposed Land Transport Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule establishes minimum vehicle emissions standards on imported used vehicles for the first time ever and will bring us closer in line with other countries.

"This Rule is part of the Labour-led Government's commitment to cleaning up air quality. Vehicle emissions currently contribute to the premature death of 500 New Zealanders a year.

"We do not want cars which fail to meet standards in other countries to end up on our roads.

"The outlandish claims issued today by used car dealer organisation IMVDA do not stand up to scrutiny and are a desperate attempt to scare monger so they can continue to import old and polluting used cars.

"The Rule will not apply to cars already in New Zealand nor will it increase the cost of cars. But it will ensure that cars being brought into New Zealand are cleaner and less polluting. Only those with a vested interest will oppose these measures.

"The five-point plan to clean up emissions being proposed by the used car dealers targets every sector of the car industry except those importing used cars. This plan shows that they want to be able to continue to import polluting cars but push the cost of dealing with them onto the buyer and the health system.

"Vehicle emissions are being targeted through initiatives in three areas - the vehicles in the New Zealand fleet, the fuel supplied to run those vehicles, and the way in which those vehicles are driven and maintained," said Judith Tizard.

"We have already introduced lower sulphur diesel and introduced measures to test all vehicles already on New Zealand roads through the Visible Smoke Check which is part of every warrant of fitness test. We trialed a vehicle scrappage scheme to get decrepit vehicles off the road, and have invested in public transport to encourage an alternative to short car trips. The Emissions Rule is just another part of that equation."

The campaign bears a striking resemblance to the 2002 crusade by the IMVDA to fight the introduction of frontal impact standards on imported used cars.

"When this government sought to introduce a minimum standard for frontal impact protection, we were met by howls of opposition from used car dealers, claiming that the cars on New Zealand's roads would become more expensive, more dangerous, and many car dealers would be forced out of business. These claims have not rung true," Judith Tizard said.

ENDS

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