Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Car importer warned over purchase of inspection firms

Japanese car importer warned over purchase of vehicle inspection firms

Gia Garrick, Political Reporter

The Transport Agency has issued a warning to a Japanese car importer which didn't properly notify authorities for a year about its purchase of vehicle inspection companies JEVIC and VINZ.

JEVIC is a company that ensures cars bought in Japan will meet New Zealand road safety requirements, while VINZ does safety inspections at the New Zealand end.

The Transport Minister agrees this raises concerns about a conflict of interest in the supply chain. Phil Twyford said the safety of vehicles on New Zealand roads is of utmost importance, and he won't tolerate that.

"I think you're going to see a tougher response from NZTA on this. They've raised the bar, and that's a good thing."

As well as JEVIC and VINZ, the conflict of interest concerns also involve a company that buys cars in Japan with the intention of importing them to New Zealand, and a shipping company that transports the cars across the Pacific.

The companies are all combined under the umbrella of the Optimus Group, which is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

The concern is that cars bought by the group will then be directed to its own safety inspection companies, to then be sold in New Zealand without an independent safety assessment.

A group of vehicle industry members who wish to remain anonymous claim to have been liaising with NZTA since August last year regarding conflict of interest concerns, and the Optimus Group's failure to notify New Zealand authorities about the change of ownership of the inspection companies.

In a statement NZTA chief executive Fergus Gammie said the agency issued a formal warning to the Optimus Group in August this year.

"The issues relating to JEVIC and VINZ are serious issues, reflected in the formal warnings issued by the Transport Agency in August of this year, and the Transport Agency continues to monitor the situation closely," he said.

NZTA is also carrying out a review to see what needs to change.

"The existing policies regarding conflicts of interest have been identified by the NZ Transport Agency Board as an area of serious concern," Mr Gammie said.

"The board has unanimously agreed that the policies need to change and has tasked the Transport Agency management team with implementing a new approach, noting that conflicts of interest are unacceptable in modern business practice."

Mr Twyford said this government has "really raised the bar" for how the Transport Agency is expected to execute its regulatory role.

"I think the concerns that the Transport Agency have around this group and the whole issue around conflict of interest reflects a new, tougher, more rigourous approach to that regulatory role and I welcome it."

The Optimus Group was approached for comment on the matter a week ago, but has not responded to RNZ's request.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Biden’s Victory: A Eunuch Presidency Beckons

Whatever was set to happen on November 3, President Donald J. Trump would not lose. Falling in that establishment firebreak against democracy known as the Electoral College would not erase, let alone repudiate him. His now victorious opponent, far ... More>>

Reese Ehrlich: Foreign Correspondent: The Challenge For Joe Biden

If he’s smart, the likely President-elect will stop the unpopular endless wars and use the money to help our domestic economy. By Reese Erlich I’m pissed. I’m pissed at Donald Trump for trying to shut down the vote count early and at Republicans More>>

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

The Conversation: The Numbers Suggest The Campaign For Cannabis Reform In NZ Will Outlive The Generations That Voted Against It

Like Brexit in the UK, cannabis reform in New Zealand fell into an age gap — given time, a second referendum would probably succeed. More>>

Gordon Campbell: 22 Short Takes On The US Election

Finally, the long night of Donald Trump’s presidency is over. To date, the courts have been given no cause to conclude that the exhaustively lengthy counts of those mountains of mail ballots was anything other than legal. Stacking the US Supreme ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On How The US Supreme Court Is Undermining American Democracy

If Joe Biden is elected President next week, here comes the bad news. If Biden tries to defend Obamacare, combat climate change (via say, a variant of the Green New Deal) or tries to improve the access of US women to abortion services , he will run afoul ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog