Only NZ First Opposes Road User Charge Reform

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 — 8:43 PM

The Road User Charges Bill passed its third reading by 113 to 8 with New Zealand First opposing.

The Road User Charges bill aims to modernise and simplify the road user charges system, by changing the definition of vehicle weight for charging purposes.

The proposed change is from a system based on actual gross weight, as specified by vehicle owners, to one based on maximum permissible on-road weight.

Operators will be charged according to their vehicles’ carrying capacities, rather than the actual loads carried.

Most parties expressed general support for the bill, though opposition parties raised some concerns about the lack of certainty about how much cost it would impose on the sector.

National MP Jami-Lee Ross said the charging regime had been widely consulted on for many years and some of the examples given of cost increases were wrong as the fee setting process would be fair.

Green MP Julie Genter said the Greens would support the bill because the changes to the charging system would encourage more efficient use of trucks on roads.

However, she said the bill was a lost opportunity to make further changes to the transport system which subsidized the road freight sector.

New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan his party would oppose the bill because it created an unfair charging system that was too expensive.

Horan said much of the sector was in the dark about the bill and did not realize how much harm it would do road transport operators who did not always use their vehicles fully loaded.

MPs began the third reading of the National Animal Identification and Tracing Bill

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