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Tizard Misrepresents Industry's Clean Air Plan


Wednesday 21 November 2007 For Immediate Release

Tizard Misrepresents Industry's Clean Air Plan

Associate transport minister Judith Tizard has misrepresented the motor vehicle industry's five point Clean Air Plan to reduce air pollution in New Zealand, the Independent Motor Vehicle Dealers' Association said today.

In a media statement last night, Ms Tizard said the association wanted to be exempt from the tough new emissions standards it had been lobbying for.

"The motor vehicle industry is entirely happy to have tough new emissions standards imposed on fresh imports of cars as long as they are implemented in a phased manner, and that action is taken to deal with the grossly polluting vehicles currently on our roads," IMVDA chief executive David Vinsen said.

"We have made this very clear to ministers and officials.

"What we reject is Labour's crazy car policy which will be applied abruptly only to fresh new imports and will therefore increase the cost of vehicles, raise the average age of the fleet, worsen air pollution and potentially cost lives."

Mr Vinsen said it was silly for Ms Tizard to describe the industry's statements on the issue as "outlandish" when everything it was saying was based on work by economic consultants Covec, commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, both of which found that the crazy car policy was likely to have the opposite effect to that intended.

He said the industry also stood by its statements in 2002 about the impact of frontal impact standards on the cost of cars. He said cars in New Zealand were more expensive than otherwise as a result of the standards, but this was hidden by the rise in the value of the New Zealand dollar between 2002 and 2007. A similar increase in the value of the dollar was unlikely to hide the financial impact of the crazy car policy.

"We have urged the government to develop and implement a proper strategy to manage the national vehicle fleet, including safety and emissions issues," Mr Vinsen said. "Ms Tizard seems to prefer ad hoc measures, that she herself acknowledges will lead to an increase in the average age of the New Zealand vehicle fleet, rather than acting seriously to save the 500 lives a year which she claims are being lost to air pollution."

Mr Vinsen urged ministers to abandon the crazy car policy and instead implement the IMVDA's five-point Clean Air Plan to reduce air pollution. The plan demands the government:

1. Enforce all current rules across the whole vehicle fleet at inspection (WoF and CoF), and at the roadside

2. Introduce scientific emissions testing for all vehicles in the fleet

3. Encourage the scrapping of older, unsafe, dirty vehicles with tougher enforcement and economic incentives

4. Introduce incentives to encourage people to buy cleaner vehicles, as proposed by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development

5. Do these things NOW

Mr Vinsen said that the failure of the government to respond sensibly to the need to reduce air pollution left the association with no choice but continue its campaign to highlight the issue.


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