6 September 2023

If elected, Nats must walk the talk on transport promises - MTA

National’s plans to phase out the Clean Car Discount (CCD) and refine the Clean Car Standard (CCS) are smart, sensible policies that echo calls from the Motor Trade Association (MTA).

The real test will be whether they back up the talk with action if they become the next Government, MTA Chief Executive Lee Marshall says.

“There’s an old saying in motorsport: when the flag drops, the BS stops,” Lee says.

“October 14, election day, is when the flag drops. We welcome the policy, but until then, we consider it just very promising talk.”

MTA called for both measures in their election year call to action, Driving New Zealand Forward, which outlined the key priorities for the next Government.

On the positive side, the CCD served its purpose in increasing the number of electrified and low-emitting vehicles on our roads, Lee says.

“On the negative side, a lot of people who benefitted could already afford to buy high-cost EVs without financial assistance.

“CCD has also failed miserably as a self-funding exercise, so it’s sensible that funds would get opened up for other more pragmatic purposes.”

Lee says the targets under the CCS proved unrealistic and welcomes the plan to work with industry on more workable goals.

“MTA fully supports the need to reduce harmful emissions that cause the premature deaths of thousands of Kiwis every year,” Lee says.

“But any government needs to work with industry to ensure the changes are practical, and avoid letting idealism get in the way of practical and actionable steps.”

MTA also welcomes plans to speed up the rollout of EV charging infrastructure.

“EVs have a huge role to play in making our roads cleaner and safer, and right now the lack of an adequate EV charging network is a real barrier to adoption,” Lee says.

“Roads and vehicles connect all New Zealanders. They literally keep our country moving.

“We call on all parties to remember that transport policy affects everyone and give them high priority before – and more importantly, after – election day.”