A Fit and Proper Person
After filling out the appropriate MR32 application form and paying the fee, I recently received in the mail what I hoped would be the history of the 50-year-old continuously registered classic car I had recently purchased — a car that still carries its original number plates. However, the six-page document I received told me zip. It seems that the powers of The Privacy Act have been invoked in this case, as I was obviously considered unfit to have access to such information in case I misused it. In fact, it wasn’t even possible to reveal the details of the present owner — me! All pages were endorsed “Information Not Available” and initialled by one Leslie Davis acting as the Registrar’s Delegate. What a shame the original ownership papers did not make it into my hands — I still have no idea of the car’s past. While I understand that the police and car dealer/financers have carte blanche access to these records, during a phone call to NZTA Licencing in Palmerston North that I made during prior research, I was informed that the fee covered the cost of assessing the application, and not for the issue of the requested information itself. Sure enough, the “consideration” of my application found me unfit to be privy to the information I requested. I wonder what the standards are for this evaluation process that are applied by NZTA staff when assessing each such application, and how much, or little, time is spent on the process by their staff. If this information is available to the NZ Police and car dealers/financiers only, why is the MR32 application form made available to the public?
Is there any way that the FOMC and VCCNZ could combine resources to lobby these people to make them see common sense instead of just collecting application fees and using the Privacy Act for financial gain? For instance, could we not design a system along the lines of having NZTA disclose histories of vehicles presently classified as vintage to the applicant, either the present owner of the vehicle — or a Fomc-member club — legitimately requesting such information, but perhaps excluding details of the present owner or, say, the most recent five years? After all, the provisions of The Privacy Act are obviously able to be circumnavigated for this usage, otherwise such information would not be available to anyone at all.
So, there is my complaint, along with a suggestion to perhaps start the rectification of this farcical process. Surely it is not too much to ask when the history of a vintage/classic vehicle can be of such interest and relevance.