Waka Kotahi begins consultation on changes to regulatory fees and charges

In News5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 24, 2022

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has started consultation on changes to fees and charges needed to pay for an effective regulatory system for land transport.

“After a thorough 18-month review of our funding and fees we’ve developed a new funding model which will provide the resources and certainty we need to improve safety and compliance in the transport system through effective regulation,” said Kane Patena, director of land transport.

“The new model is based on the simple principle that everyone who creates risk in the land transport system, or who receives direct benefits from being part of it, should contribute to funding its regulation,” he said.

Eight proposals make up the new funding model and include suggested changes to government funding, along with many changes to the amounts Waka Kotahi charges for services:

  • recommending an allocation of land transport revenue to fund some regulatory functions
  • changes to driver licence and driver testing fees
  • changes to motor vehicle licence and registration fees
  • changes to administration fees for RUC (admin fees are included in the cost when you buy RUC)
  • changes to fees and charges for TSL holders
  • changes to fees and charges for motor vehicle certifier activities
  • changes to charges for commercial and council data users
  • changes to fees and charges for eRUC providers.

Of note:

Driver licensing​

The average price for many driver licence fees is proposed to be decreased. ​
Fees for re-sitting driver licence tests would be removed.
The cost of getting a learner licence through to full driver licence and failing a restricted test on the first attempt would drop from $425 to $352. ​
The cost to renew a driver licence would drop from $60.02 to $31.45.​
The cost of applying for an exemption (DL4) would increase from $27.20 to $94.95. ​

Vehicle licensing (rego)

Renewal of rego at an agent (over the counter) would increase from $7.20 to $11.57
Renewal of rego online would increase from $4.10 to $8.24.​
Road User Charges (RUC) admin (included in the cost when you purchase RUC)
The admin portion of the cost to buy a RUC distance licence through an agent would increase from $7.80 to $13.25
The admin fees to buy RUC online would increase from $4.80 to $12.05.​

Passenger (P) Endorsements
Cost of a 1-year P endorsement would increase from $73 to $205.18
Cost of a 5-year P endorsement would decrease from $254.90 to $205.18

Transport Services Licence (TSL)
The cost of passenger (small and large) licences and vehicle recovery service licences would increase from $55 to $84.98
The cost of goods service licences and rental service licences would increase from $55 to $102.68.

The review of funding and fees was prompted by the release of two independent reports in 2019 by Martin Jenkins and Kristy McDonald QC that found gaps and weaknesses in the regulatory system for land transport in New Zealand. The Martin Jenkins report emphasised that the regulatory arm of Waka Kotahi was underfunded.

“In response, Waka Kotahi has undertaken a thorough review of our funding, fees and charges for regulatory services like driver and vehicle licensing, and the regulation of people and businesses in the land transport system like vehicle certifiers,” said Patena.

“This was the first comprehensive review of fees and charges since before Waka Kotahi was established in 2008. We found that most of our fees and charges don’t reflect the current cost to effectively regulate or provide regulatory services, and confirmed that our current funding situation is unsustainable.”