The Motor Trade Association (MTA) is calling on the next New Zealand Government to phase out the Clean Car Discount as part of its newly-released strategic publication which seeks to address challenges faced by the automotive industry.
The document, called Driving New Zealand Forward: Future Proofing the Automotive Industry, outlines several problems mechanics, safety inspectors, dealerships, drivers, and more currently face and what the next Government can do to address them.
MTA detailed that it wants the next Government to phase out the Clean Car Discount as it has “unfair and unfortunate social impacts” like penalising high-emitting vehicles such as utes and rewarding consumers who can afford an electric vehicle. In doing so, the Association plans to keep the Clean Car Standard but defer its targets and goals by about two years.
It also stated that Warrant of Fitness (WOF) testing must be updated so that cars older than 15 years must be inspected every six months. Currently, vehicles registered before 2000 are only subject to biannual WOFs.
With regard to emissions testing, MTA says a vehicle should automatically fail its WOF if a ‘check engine’ light is displayed on the dashboard. The Association also states emissions testing should be carried out on all vehicles over ten years old.
Also on its hit list was the call to expand the Green List for immigrant workers and accelerate electric vehicle training.
The proposals were each presented to Parliament on 9 May 2023 to an audience consisting of Associate Transport Minister Kiritapu Allan, Green Party Transport Spokesperson Julie Anne Genter, National Transport Spokesperson Simeon Brown, and ACT Transport Spokesperson Simon Court.
MTA states that the automotive industry is an important part of the country’s economy considering it employs 62,700 people, provides $30 billion of goods and services, and contributes $5.5 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“A strong, healthy automotive industry isn’t just important to the thousands of Kiwis who work in it,” says MTA Chief Executive Lee Marshall. “It’s essential for every community and family.”
“We are a nation of motorists and travellers. We depend on driving to connect with loved ones, to deliver goods and services, and to explore our country.
“We are ready to work with Government and all agencies and stakeholders to ensure New Zealand has the strong automotive industry it needs and deserves.
“The challenges are real but we have solutions that we believe will carry us into the future.”