Pos­i­tive meet­ing with Min­is­ter

Classic Driver - - FEATURES - By Roy Hughes, Na­tional Sec­re­tary NZ Fed­er­a­tion of Motoring Clubs

While re­ject­ing any ex­ten­sion of the in­com­ing an­nual WOF regime to cover her­itage ve­hi­cles, As­so­ciate Trans­port Min­is­ter Michael Wood­house is con­sid­er­ing a re­vi­sion of the def­i­ni­tion of vin­tage ve­hi­cles which would sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce Rego/ACC fees for many more motoring en­thu­si­asts.

At our most re­cent dis­cus­sion with the Trans­port Min­is­ter, the ex­ec­u­tive of the NZFOMC sub­mit­ted there would be both eco­nomic and road safety ben­e­fits if WOF in­spec­tions for her­itage ve­hi­cles were also re­duced from six months to an­nual.

We ex­pressed our con­cern that the cost and in­con­ve­nience of ob­tain­ing six monthly war­rants is prompt­ing many col­lec­tors to place the regis­tra­tion of their ve­hi­cles on hold for at least part of each year when reg­u­lar year round use and main­te­nance would keep them in bet­ter and safer op­er­at­ing con­di­tion.

While not dis­put­ing our sta­tis­tics which show the rate of WOF re­jec­tions, in­volve­ment in crashes, and an­nual mileages cov­ered are lower for her­itage ve­hi­cles than more mod­ern mod­els, the Min­is­ter said trans­port of­fi­cials re­main con­cerned that older cars are sub­ject to non-dis­tance re­lated ac­cel­er­ated de­te­ri­o­ra­tion so be­lieve they still need to be checked six monthly.

How­ever he has in­structed his of­fi­cials to in­ves­ti­gate re­duc­ing the age of vin­tage ve­hi­cles as legally de­fined in trans­port leg­is­la­tion from the cur­rent over 40 years down to 30 years. This could have the effect of low­er­ing li­cens­ing fees for a larger range of col­lec­tor ve­hi­cles which would more than off­set the costs of six monthly war­rants.

In our trans­port leg­is­la­tion, ‘Vet­eran Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles’ are cor­rectly de­fined as mo­tor ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­tured be­fore Jan­uary 1 1919. But the cur­rent New Zealand leg­is­lated cat­e­gory of ‘Vin­tage Ve­hi­cles’, be­ing those 40 years or older, is in­con­sis­tent with the gen­er­ally ac­cepted def­i­ni­tion of ‘Vin­tage’ be­ing only those mo­tor ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­tured af­ter 1 Jan­uary 1919 and be­fore 31 De­cem­ber 1931.

The change the Min­is­ter has agreed to in­ves­ti­gate would bring New Zealand into line with the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised ref­er­ence date of 30 years old and, to avoid other con­fu­sions, we have sug­gested the clas­si­fi­ca­tion should be changed from ‘Vin­tage’ to ‘Her­itage Ve­hi­cles’.

The per­cent­age of the fleet aged be­tween 30 and 40 years is less than 1 per cent and most ve­hi­cles of this age are no longer cov­er­ing sig­nif­i­cant an­nual dis­tances. With few ex­cep­tions, only car buffs con­tinue to drive and main­tain such ve­hi­cles, and dis­tances trav­elled an­nu­ally are gen­er­ally small.

With the ACC propos­ing to in­tro­duce a slid­ing scale of fees based on risk rat­ings linked to ve­hi­cle age, we sug­gested to the Min­is­ter that in­tro­duc­ing a ‘Her­itage Ve­hi­cle” be­gin­ning at 30 years, will re­flect their true con­tri­bu­tion to ac­ci­dent and in­jury sta­tis­tics and mit­i­gate the ex­ces­sive fi­nan­cial im­post on her­itage ve­hi­cles which could oth­er­wise oc­cur.

FOMC Sec­re­tary Roy Hughes (left), As­so­ciate Trans­port Min­is­ter Michael Wood­house (se­cond from left) met with Pres­i­dent Mal­colm Lums­den and Vice-Pres­i­dent Fred Fel­lows

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