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Goodbye gas guzzlers - hello Ministerial carpools?

Goodbye gas guzzlers - hello Ministerial carpools?

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has welcomed the Government's search for more fuel efficient replacements for the 85-vehicle Ministerial limousine fleet. "I hope the Prime Minister's announcement today means the Government will support my bill if it wins the ballot. After all, we need to make sure future governments don't backtrack."

Ms Fitzsimons' private member's bill seeks to limit the purchase or leasing of new vehicles for the Ministerial fleet to vehicles with engine capacity of 1800cc or less, and that perform in the top 10 percent of fuel efficiency in their size class.

"I have noted the Prime Minister's concerns that the replacement vehicles selected must be big enough to carry several people in comfort, and still enable writing and reading to be done on the road. I am happy to re-assure her that there are several options of suitable size available among smaller engine vehicles, of 1800cc (or smaller) capacity. Smaller engines under the hood need not mean less legroom in the back seat. .


"The Ministers concerned can set a powerful example in other ways as well.They could, for instance, agree on a policy that when Ministers are going to the same event, they double up and travel together. Rumour has it - which I wasn't there to confirm - that at the recent Labour Party conference in Rotorua ministers arrived and left in lonely splendour in their individual, carbon-belching limousines

"The public seems well ahead of the political curve on this one. The changes to the Ministerial vehicle fleet sought by my bill are already being reflected within the community at large. So far this year, sales of small cars are up 8 per cent, while sales in the large-car sector of the market are down by 17 percent.

"What all this should be telling us is that age of the gas guzzler, blithely unconcerned with its impact on climate change and the supply of scarce fossil fuels is over. The bulk of the Ministerial vehicle fleet are hopelessly fuel inefficient - and that kind of excess is no longer affordable, for ordinary people, politicians or the planet."


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