Friday, February 23, 2024

Open letter to the PM

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Dear Mr Luxon,

Congratulations on your success at the election. As a proponent and personal user of EVs [electric vehicles], 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 July 1, 2024.

It is weeks until the deadline for National’s policy to end the Clean Car Discount by December 31, 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.

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 July 1, 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

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