VINZ says NZTA policy decision removes uncertainty

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 26, 2019

Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ) says that NZTA‘s decision not to change its operational policy on the appointment of vehicle entry certification companies has removed uncertainty in the vehicle import and inspection sector. VINZ says this opens the door to new investment. The company also welcomes the increased audits NZTA has announced, an initiative that it recommended in its feedback to NZTA.

“This is the right decision,” says VINZ executive director, Gordon Shaw. “The initial phase of the consultation on proposed policy changes created uncertainty for us, our staff and customers – and our competitors. However, we took the consultation extremely seriously and made submissions based on evidence and expert advice. We were reassured once it became clear that NZTA was committed to making a sound and well-considered decision following a full and transparent consultation process.”

NZTA‘s own investigations found no evidence that public safety had ever been placed at risk as a result of VINZ ownership. Internal NZTA documents, obtained under the OIA during the consultation process, show that VINZ had managed any conflicts well.

“We greatly appreciate the thorough and measured approach adopted by senior NZTA personnel throughout the consultation period. They were meticulous in their review of the evidence presented, and the board has accepted their recommendations,” Shaw says.

VINZ says that it is both pleased and relieved that the NZTA recognised that the policy changes initially proposed were inherently flawed. It describes the decision as being in line with the recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General and State Services Commission on managing conflicts of interest. The decision is also in line with the requirements of the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, Rule 35001/1.

VINZ says the decision now paves the way for more investment in its business.

“The proposed policy changes had a chilling effect on investment across the sector,” says Shaw. “We had put our own plans on hold because the situation was uncertain. We are now in a position to look at what investment may now be required to further our primary objective, ensuring the safety of vehicles driven on New Zealand roads.”

VINZ recognises the importance of maintaining public confidence in inspection outcomes. During consultation it made suggestions about improving the way conflicts of interest are managed across the sector and is prepared to share its best-practice approach with others in the sector.