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Operation identifies tourism transport issues

8 February 2006

Joint operation identifies tourism transport issues

A combined enforcement operation involving Land Transport New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, the Ministry of Tourism and the NZ Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit has gathered valuable information on the state of North Island tourist transport.

‘Operation Triangle’ targeted non-compliance among passenger service tour operators by carrying out surprise checks of vehicles, drivers, logbooks and Road User Charges (RUC) payment at sites in Auckland, Rotorua and at the Waitomo Caves from Wednesday to Friday last week (February 1–3).

While no unlicensed tourist operators were found, several vehicles were issued with green stickers for safety breaches. This means the operator has to fix the faults and go through a Certificate of Fitness (CoF) check before the vehicle is allowed back on the road. Others were found operating without the necessary CoF, and many instances of unpaid RUC were discovered.

Dennis Robertson of Land Transport NZ’s Commercial Road Transport section says the operation should send a clear signal to those operating at the margins of the tourism industry that unsafe and illegal practices won’t be tolerated.

“We’re committed to ensuring that all operators provide safe and secure transport for tourists visiting our country. Companies that have invested the time and money to do things properly also need to know that they are competing on a level playing field.”

In addition to identifying non-compliant operators, the information gathered by the enforcement operation will also be used by Tourism New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism as part of a wider effort to raise standards in the industry.

“Maintaining high quality within the industry is paramount. New Zealand currently has the reputation of being a safe destination and ensuring that our visitors do have a safe quality experience, that’s what we’re about here”, says Ray Salter, General Manager for The Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says it is imperative that visitors have as enjoyable an experience as possible while they are in New Zealand.

“Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. As the marketing agency for New Zealand we want to make sure that our visitors go away satisfied with their holiday in this country. This initiative should help ensure that our visitors are safer drivers, and go back home with a better experience as a consequence,” says Mr Hickton.
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