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Open Letter: Call For Incoming Government To Delay Clean Car Discount Changes

The Better New Zealand Trust has today written to Christopher Luxon asking the incoming government to delay any changes to the Clean Car Discount. National has pledged to scrap the scheme by 31 December.

"People are making decisions right now on car purchases not knowing if they will have to pay a fee or will be eligible for a subsidy by the time their car is delivered. This uncertainty is hurting New Zealanders and our transition to EVs," says Rob Birnie of The Better NZ Trust.

"The Clean Car Discount is working, beyond all expectations, to accelerate our transition to clean transport. It should be kept in place. If any changes are to be made, whether that's removing the scheme entirely, or altering funding processes, the public needs to be given a chance to have their say and a clear timeline that is not impacted by the time taken to swear in the new Government.

"Any changes should be delayed until at least 1 July 2024, to give people and businesses fair notice and remove uncertainty." says Birnie.

Text of Letter

Dear Mr Luxon,

Congratulations on your success at the election. As a proponent and personal user of EVs, we hope you will implement policies that accelerate New Zealand's transition to clean transport.

An important first step you can make is to delay any changes to the Clean Car Discount until 1 July 2024.

It is now less than six weeks until the deadline for National's policy to end the Clean Car Discount by 31 December 2023, yet there is still no clarity for Kiwis looking to buy cars as to what that means. If, for example, a person orders a car now but it is not delivered until January, will that vehicle be subject to any fee or rebate? No one, including the Ministry of Transport, knows.

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This is creating uncertainty in the vehicle market, affecting both dealers and buyers.

What is clear is that any changes the Government makes would need to be rushed through Cabinet and Parliament in the next few weeks without proper consultation or select committee hearings. That is bound to lead to unfair outcomes.

We do not agree with National's policy to scrap the Clean Car Discount. It has been a tremendously successful policy that has caused a step change in EV uptake, and is cutting New Zealand's emissions. If any changes are to be made to the programme, we would recommend a public consultation period to enable the wider public that the Government represents to provide feedback on any changes.

Whether the Government continues with its policy to scrap the Clean Car Discount entirely or alters the scheme, any changes should be delayed until 1 July 2024.

That delay will give the Government time to properly consider the transition period and to consult with stakeholders. It will mean New Zealand businesses and car buyers have certainty about what is going to happen well in advance and can plan accordingly.

A six month delay is the fair and practical option.

We look forward to your consideration of this issue and your response.


Rob Birnie
The Better NZ Trust

© Scoop Media

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