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Motor Caravan Owners Hurt by New Road User Charges Act

29 February 2012

Motor Caravan Owners Hurt by New Road User Charges Act

Many of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s approximately 43,000 members will be severely disadvantaged by the new Road User Charges Act recently passed by Parliament to amend the way Road User Charges are collected.

RUC licences have been purchased in one tonne increments which allowed heavy vehicles and motor caravans to purchase licences to cover the actual laden weight of their vehicles, rather than the maximum chassis laden weight (GLW) as specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The new regulations require RUC licences to be purchased for the maximum GLW specified for the chassis and introduces three broad weightbands rather than one tonne increments.

“Many of the motor homes or 5th Wheel units you see on our roads are built on or towed by vehicles originally designed by the manufacturer to be buses, trucks or light trucks. Therefore their chassis can carry significantly more weight than required for the relatively lightweight bodies built on them for recreational use” says New Zealand Motor Caravan Association spokesman Pete Jenkins.

“This makes a mockery of the intention of the original 1977 ACT to apportion the charges depending on the actual laden weight of the vehicle and therefore the road damage contribution. The new ACT and draft of proposed weight bands and charges will result in huge increases in costs for some owners” he says. Some examples calculated using the new weight band charges on typical bus-chassis 9 metre motor caravans result in increases from $94.68 and $120.24 per 1000k of pre-purchased RUC’s licences to a whopping $206.50 per 1000k!"

“Many of our members are retired and on fixed incomes and the extra costs will really hurt them. They don’t mind paying their fair share of road taxes, but are fed up with the burden of extra costs of legislation intended to principally target heavy vehicles such as trucks used for hire and reward, by operators who can pass these costs to the consumer” says Mr. Jenkins.

The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, along with a number of other parties, made submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee during the drafting of the Bill, but their concerns at the unfairness of this legislation on recreational users seems to have been largely ignored.


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