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AfMA Comments on Proposed Changes to New Zealand Vehicle Licensing Regulations Changes

February 13, 2013

The Australasian Fleet Management Association (AfMA) made a submission on proposed changes to various Vehicle Licensing regulations in October 2012. The New Zealand Ministry of Transport recently released details of the changes to that process. Changes that are welcome, but in many cases fall short of the recommendations AfMA made during the submission process, according to the Association.

The proposed changes include:

Warrant of Fitness Changes
As of July 2014 the Warrant of Fitness regulations will be:
• after initial inspection, no further inspection until vehicles are three years-old
• annual inspections for vehicles three years and older, first registered on or after 1 January 2000
• six-monthly inspections for vehicles first registered before 1 January 2000
(NZ Ministry of Transport, February, 8, 2013)

According to the Association, this change is welcomed, but falls short of the 2 year grace period before inspections recommended by AfMA. While three years appears to have been the favored option for those representing domestic owners, the 2 year limit would have taken into account particular concerns of those managing an organization’s fleet. In particular, by the 2 year mark for new fleet cars, they would probably have already required a tire change and be halfway between scheduled services – an ideal time for an inspection.

Certificate of Fitness Changes
As of July 2014 the certificate of fitness package is:
• keeping the current default six-monthly inspection frequency but allowing NZTA to vary inspection frequency from three to 12 months depending on a transport operator’s safety performance
• allowing vehicle owners and operators to have greater choice about where and from whom they get their vehicles inspected. This will include the flexibility to bundle service and inspection together, and possible accreditation for operators to manage the safety of their vehicles.
(NZ Ministry of Transport, February 8, 2013)

This represents the key recommendation the Australasian Fleet Management Association made on the issue, according to AfMA.

Annual Vehicle Licensing
These changes are still being developed by the MoT. AfMA said it is concerned that a key recommendation to allow fleets to be managed through one account was included in the submission process, but appears to no longer be a consideration by the MoT. This change would have allowed the streamlining of registration management, reduced the administrative burden of fleet managers and made it far easier for those who manage larger fleets to avoid the late payment penalties which are being considered.

Transport Services Licensing
The NZ MoT has preferred the option recommended by AfMA to leave the current system largely in place with minor changes to processes only. This will save unnecessary changes to administrative requirements and any uncertainty that comes with regulation change, according to the Association.

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