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Vehicle emissions standards to be phased in

Vehicle emissions standards to be phased in

The government has taken the next step towards combating our “invisible” road toll with the signing of the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule, Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard announced today.

“This is the first time that standards for vehicle emissions will be set in regulation. Nothing less than these construction standards will be acceptable in New Zealand. Our aim is to phase out vehicles that harm our health and our environment,” said Judith Tizard.

“The rule will ensure that all vehicles entering New Zealand are manufactured to a recognised international emissions standard. The rule will be phased in from January 2004. This will allow the industry time to pre-order vehicles that meet the new requirements and will take account of the improving fuel quality in New Zealand over the next few years. Vehicles already in New Zealand will not be affected.

“Vehicle emissions are a major source of health problems, including asthma, heart disease and bronchitis,” said Judith Tizard. “A report released last year estimates that around 400 people die prematurely each year due to exposure to vehicle emissions.*

“This new rule is a key step in helping to reduce related illnesses and fatalities due to vehicle emissions. While many imported new and used vehicles are already manufactured to vehicle emissions standards, some are not. This rule will ensure that New Zealand doesn’t become a dumping ground for vehicles that are not built to a European, American, Australian or Japanese emissions standard.

“This rule will ensure that all vehicles entering this country are at least built to a standard that enables them to run efficiently and cleanly on New Zealand fuel.

“The rule will form a good basis for the government’s Vehicle Emissions Policy which the Ministry of Transport has been developing with key stakeholders. I will be reporting to Cabinet shortly on a full range of proposals under that Policy which are intended to further reduce vehicle emission levels.”

* “Health effects due to motor vehicle air pollution in New Zealand” – A NIWA report commissioned by Ministry of Transport, March 2002 For a copy of the Rule and more information visit: www.ltsa.org.nz or www.transport.govt.nz

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