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New Road User Charges System Progresses

The National Animal Identification and Tracing Bill and Road User Charges Bill were reported with amendment on a voice vote.

The Road User Charges bill aims to modernise and simplify the road user charges system, by changing the definition of vehicle weight for that purpose.

The proposed change is from a system based on actual gross weight, as specified by vehicle owners, to one based on maximum permissible on-road weight.

Operators will be charged according to their vehicles’ carrying capacities, rather than the actual loads carried.

Labour MPs were broadly supportive of the bill, but spoke about concerns it could raise costs for smaller businesses.

They also criticised the fact that the bill did not specify what the new charges would be.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said while the final charges had not been set, the increases would be minimal for most truck operators and would incentivise efficiency.

MPs began the first reading debate on the Electronic Identity Verification Bill.

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