Don’t want the govt to ban petrol cars? Have your say

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Words: Matthew Hansen
25 Feb 2021

New Zealand’s ban on internal combustion engine vehicles appears to be just over the horizon, following a streak of green-car announcements from the Labour Government and calls for even more action from the Climate Change Commission.

In January the government unveiled plans to roll out a new Clean Car Standard, with its full effects set to be felt by the industry by 2025. This followed prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement of a Climate Change Emergency in late 2020, which was bolstered by reiteration of goals around electrifying the government fleet.

This was then followed by the Climate Change Commission’s report earlier this month, which recommended banning the import of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. While the commission’s recommendations have not been adopted as policy proposals, pundits believe it’s inevitable.

Those who are against the call can now send feedback regarding the commission’s recommendations. There was an initial public submission deadline of mid-March, but that’s now been extended until March 28. Those who wish to send a submission can do so via the Have Your Say commission website.

“We needed to balance time needed by stakeholders to consider our data as part of their submissions, with the work evaluating submissions and determining their impact on our draft advice,” says Dr Rod Carr, chairman of the Climate Change Commission.

“The board felt two weeks provided this. We do anticipate a significant number of submissions for our team to analyse. It is important to us that people are able to contribute to our work, which we hope results in a fundamental and lasting change for the direction of climate action in Aotearoa.”

So far, over 350 submissions have been received by the commission. These submissions will help shape the final budgets and advice that the commission will report to the government.

The government’s Clean Car Standard strategy has received mixed response from the public and distributors alike. While some are against the move all together, most distributors supported the push for lower emissions — instead urging the government to give them more time to be able to manage their fleets in preparation, while simultaneously adopting some form of ‘feebate’ scheme to make low-emission vehicles cheaper to buy.

“Overall, it is clear that this is a necessary step forward for New Zealand. However, the timeline to reduce emissions is steep and will take a great deal of support from the government to achieve this,” said European Motor Distributors in an umbrella statement issued to NZ Autocar earlier this month. 

“From an importer standpoint, we need to see strong incentives in the form of a feebate to help create demand for these vehicles. We would also like to see used cars treated the same as new cars.”

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